AMA to Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Curbing obesity
July 9, 2011(published)
Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
Alarming new statistics show far too many Americans are obese. Recently released data show that more than 30 percent of Georgians are obese.
Physicians are concerned about the high rate of obesity because it adversely affects the health and quality of life for millions. This growing epidemic also compromises the fiscal health of our nation and increases the cost of health care for all of us. More than 75 percent of our nation’s health care spending is for the treatment of chronic (often preventable) conditions. Obesity and its health complications alone cost billions annually. Lifestyle changes can make a significant difference in reducing these costs to our nation and improving individual health.
As policymakers debate increasing the value of our health care spending, a renewed national focus on prevention and wellness measures must play a role.
Peter W. Carmel, MD
President, American Medical Association