The Center for Medical Weight Loss Applauds AMA’s Decision to Recognize Obesity as a Disease

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Leaders of the largest non-surgical medical weight loss physician network say the decision signals significant shift in approach to obesity treatment.


With this decision it is clearer that the tide is shifting to put the medical community in the driver’s seat to improve patients’ health at its root, which is weight management

The Center for Medical Weight Loss praises the historic decision of the American Medical Association to recognize obesity as a disease after the organization released its official statement on the subject Tuesday.

AMA board member Patrice Harris, M.D., said in the statement, “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans. The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity.”

Chief Medical Officer of The Center for Medical Weight Loss Dr. Michael S. Kaplan said, “We at CMWL see the AMA’s decision to be a true breakthrough message to physicians regarding their critical role in addressing the nation’s obesity epidemic. This is something we have been preparing doctors to do for nearly a decade, and with this decision it is clearer that the tide is shifting to put the medical community in the driver’s seat to improve patients’ health at its root, which is weight management."

It is believed that this shift in position, which received support by delegates at the AMA’s annual meeting, will accelerate momentum for policymakers to increase incentives for doctors to make the medical treatment of obesity a priority.

The AMA is the latest major health care institution to support the recognition of obesity as a disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) first declared it a disease in 2004. That same year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) changed its Medicare messaging to recognize obesity as a disease, and in January 2012 introduced insurance coverage for obesity counseling to Medicare beneficiaries. Many private insurers followed suit soon thereafter, and the trend continues to grow.

“The size of CMWL’s network of physicians who treat their patients with our medical weight loss program shows that a large number of doctors have already adopted the position that obesity is indeed a disease,” said Kevin Eberly, CEO of The Center for Medical Weight Loss. “The AMA’s decision represents a significant signal to the medical community that there should be increased action in this area. Doctors who are trained in medical weight loss and understand the elements of obesity treatment—both the physical and behavioral—are ahead of the curve and in a good position to reap the rewards of achieving clinically positive outcomes within the emerging health care ecosystem.”

About Center for Medical Weight Loss

The Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL) programs provide an approach to long-term weight loss and maintenance under the care and support of trained physicians. Each fully individualized program is customized to the patient, taking into account his or her medical history, body composition, and personal goals. This individual care is supported with ongoing one-on-one counseling by the physician on important topics including nutrition, fitness, behavioral modification, motivation, and, where necessary, prescribed medications. Physicians in The Center for Medical Weight Loss network are all certified professionals specially trained in non-surgical obesity medicine who have access to the latest techniques and medical data, including high-quality nutritional products and FDA-approved weight loss medications only available to medical doctors. The CMWL programs are clinically proven and evidence-based. For more information, visit

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Marian Coletti
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