Obesity as a Disease: Current Policies and Implications for the Future

Scott Kahan, Tracy Zvenyach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The recognition of obesity as a chronic disease is increasing. However, there is variable acknowledgment of it as a disease in health policies across the USA. The objective of this review is to describe how obesity meets the definition of a disease, explain its interpretation in current health policies, and explore implications for obesity in future health policy adoption and development. Perspectives are presented from scientific evidence, clinical practice, and health policy areas including Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, federal government agency guidance, and healthcare quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent obesity reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Access to healthcare
  • Chronic disease
  • Comorbid condition
  • Government
  • Health policy
  • Obesity
  • Treatment
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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