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Obesity classified as a disease

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(AP File Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) (AP File Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

An influential medical group has adopted a policy that recognizes obesity as a disease.

The American Medical Association, the nation's largest physician organization, voted in support of the policy at its annual meeting in Chicago.

The group says that obesity is a disease that requires a range of medical interventions to advance treatment and prevention.

“Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans,” said AMA board member Patrice Harris, M.D. “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.”

That was among several new policies that were adopted. Others were support of public access to genetic data, an opposition to the lifetime ban on blood donations for gay men and supporting allowing sunscreen to be allowed in schools without a note from a physician.

The AMA also adopted a policy recognizing potential risks of prolonged sitting and encouraging employers, employees and others to make available alternatives to sitting, such as standing work stations and isometric balls.

“Prolonged sitting, particularly in work settings, can cause health problems and encouraging workplaces to offer employees alternatives to sitting all day will help to create a healthier workforce,” said Dr. Harris.

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