Nightly News   |  June 18, 2013

AMA recognizes obesity as a disease

The American Medical Association has a lot of clout in Washington, D.C., NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports, and although insurance companies are likely to push back – this may change the way we speak about obesity.

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>>> the american medical association says obesity should be recognized as a disease. our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman with more on what this means, this will generate a lot of talk.

>> it's been percolating for a while. it's controversial, and even doctors within the ama and the general community are divided. some think it's genetics and brain wiring, others say it's the environment and self-restraint and the ability to push oneself away from the table. the ama has staked its claim, although it's not legal. the ama has a lot of clout in washington. their big thing is, this can help with prevention and treatment. while the insurance companies are likely to push right back, it does mean there's going to be a change in conversation, and you're going to hear people say, i'm not fat, i'm not obese, i have obesity, consider it heart disease , diabetes, cancer. it's a whole new category, a whole new data reference.

>> thank you, as always.