Bid to make obesity a chronic disease

A senior AMA leader has vowed to fight hard for the recognition of obesity as a chronic disease.

A national co-ordinated policy to treat the growing epidemic is long overdue, says Dr Stephen Wilson (pictured), Western Australia chair of the association’s Council of General Practice.

He says Australia has been painfully slow to follow the lead of the American Medical Association, which has formally defined obesity as a chronic disease.

“I’m going to be driving this thing as hard as I can, because it has to happen,” he says, adding his impetus is his “staggering number of middle-aged patients imprisoned by their obesity”.

Reclassification would trigger a range of improvements in how it is managed, he says.

“But there needs to be a co-ordinated thrust by all doctors’