Designation of Obesity as a Disease: Lessons Learned From Alcohol and Tobacco

Ryan T. Hurt, Jithinraj Edakkanambeth Varayil, Manpreet S. Mundi, Robert G. Martindale, Jon O. Ebbert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Obesity is a leading cause of preventable death in the USA. The American Medical Association recently recognized obesity as meeting the definition of a chronic disease. This declaration had the intention of improving screening and long-term treatment and is historically similar to the designation of tobacco and alcohol dependence as a chronic disease. Nevertheless, it has ignited a nationwide debate in both academia and public opinion. The current article reviews the implications of treating obesity as a chronic disease, comparing the similarities in pathophysiology of obesity and other addictions, and discusses the pros and cons of this designation as it pertains to health care workers and patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number415
JournalCurrent gastroenterology reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2014


  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Disease
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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