Obesity as a Disease

In May 2017, the World Obesity Federation released a position statement in the journal Obesity Reviews recognising obesity as a "chronic, relapsing, progressive disease process." This view is in accordance with the positions taken by the World Health Organization in 1997 and  the American Medical Association in 2013. The statement emphasises the need for immediate action to prevent and control the global obesity epidemic, and can be viewed in full here.

A comment from World Obesity's senior policy officers was published alongside the statement. The comment argues that defining obesity as a disease increases society’s responsibility to prevent excess weight gain through population-wide interventions to promote optimum health. The comment can be read here.

Click here to view the press release announcing the publication of both papers. World Obesity's Director of Policy, Dr Tim Lobstein, has also written a blog article discussing the implications of the statement, which can be viewed here.

By recognising obesity as a disease, World Obesity hopes to stimulate greater action against the obesity crisis to prevent its various comorbidities and to combat the harmful stigma surrounding obesity.

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