Dr. Russell Kridel was quoted in the June 19, 2013 Medscape online article, "AMA Declares Obesity a Disease." At the recent 2013 annual Americal Medical Association (AMA) meeting in Chicago, physicians voted to label obesity as a disease that requires a range of interventions to advance treatment and prevention.
While physicians agree that obesity is an epidemic. Not all agree that obesity should be labeled a disease. Russell Kridel, MD, incoming chair of the AMA Council on Science and Public Health (CSPH), told Medscape Medical News that there is no debate about the importance and urgency of addressing the problem, but he doesn't believe it qualifies as a disease. "It's more like smoking. Smoking isn't a disease. Smoking can cause disease such as lung cancer and emphysema in the same way that obesity can lead to diabetes and hypertension," he explained. "We're really talking nomenclature here, not philosophy." He noted that behavior and dietary choices play a part in obesity. "Thirty years ago, we did not have the obesity problem we have now. If you look scientifically at what has changed, our diet has changed. There's been no change in our genetic structure in the past 30 years." Houston facial plastic surgeon, Russell Kridel, MD, said he would like to see more attention focused on prevention and personal responsibility. The CSPH issued a 14-page report opposing the classification of obesity as a disease.
--- Kirin, Facial Plastic Surgery Associates
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