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The nation’s largest physicians group, the American Medical Association (AMA) has officially declared obesity a disease. Supporters of the disease classification believe this decision could lead to improvements in obesity prevention and treatment by spurring health insurers and the government to fund anti-obesity services and getting doctors to pay more attention to the condition. Opponents of the decision say obesity is more a risk factor for other conditions than a disease. Critics are also concerned with how obesity will be diagnosed since the measure usually used to define obesity, the body mass index, is simplistic and flawed. Although the debate will likely continue, the AMA hopes this decision will open up the range of medical interventions that could help the one-third of Americans struggling with obesity.

Read the full New York Times article.