Endocrinology Association Declares Obesity a Disease State

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has declared that
there is sufficient clinical evidence to declare obesity a disease state.

The declaration of obesity as a disease state, rather than a consequence
of poor lifestyle choices, will help pave the way for more effective therapies
and treatments for the growing number of obese Americans, according to a press
release issued by the association. Currently, the armamentarium is bare for
obesity therapies.

“Sufficient evidence has accumulated to implicate a number of
heterogeneous hormonal and regulatory disorders in the pathogenesis and
progression of the disease state,” Alan J. Garber, MD, PhD, AACE
vice president, said in a press release. “Thus, multiple therapeutic
interventions may be necessary lifelong to delay or reverse obesity in
patients. Currently, certain efforts have not prevented the proliferation of
obesity in the US population as well as elsewhere. Additional interventions and
alternative approaches are clearly necessary.”

On July 23, the AACE board of directors voted unanimously to declare
obesity a disease state. The vote was the result of an AACE
Task Force on Obesity report that concluded, based on available clinical data,
insufficient data exist to suggest that obesity is not just a condition.

Having declared obesity a disease state, AACE leaders now plan to
develop resources for the various modalities of obesity management, including
behavior, nutrition, pharmacology and surgery. The efforts will be part of a
comprehensive nutrition plan that will include sociopolitical, public and
educational outreach. The association will collaborate with other professional
medical societies and the FDA regarding obesity research and the consideration
of antiobesity drugs and their approval pathways, according to the release.

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