According to a report on National Public Radio, the American Medical Association (AMA) has recommended that obesity be categorized as a disease.

In a statement, the AMA has said obesity should be recognized as a disease state with multiple pathophysiological aspects requiring a range of interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention.

“We felt it’s time to take a stance and say we’re going to identify this as a disease. We think that’s going to send a message not only to the public but to the physician community that we really need to make it a priority and put it in our cross hairs.”

Dr. Douglas Martin, chairman of the AMA public health committee, to NPR

Difference in the details

Obesity is a growing problem around the world, for consumers of all ages. We’re seeing initiatives and programs geared toward educating parents of overweight kids and teens, incentivizing healthy eating habits, and brands showing how anyone can start exercising to make healthy changes.

New diet trends in us

According to Mintel’s Diet Trends US November 2012 report, two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.

A new categorization of obesity may have a profound effect on health insurance coverage and how being obese is treated, handled, and looked at in society. How will these changes influence the way brands market foods and products that claim to be healthy as well as those considered indulgences?

We may see the appearance of warning labels on foods that are high in sodium, fat, or calories, much like cigarettes and alcohol. Brands and businesses looking to stay ahead of regulation would do well to pre-emptively label unhealthy items and push better-for-you choices.

This is an observation from our Inspire trend The Big Issue, which examines polarizing attitudes toward weight. For more information on Inspire click here.