Weighty Debate Over Obesity

Americans who suffer from obesity (search) face some serious health risks, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and several types of cancer.

So it might seem reasonable that the American Obesity Association (search) is pushing the Food and Drug Administration to classify the condition as a disease.

But critics say the AOA's goal isn't healthier Americans, but healthier bank accounts for their backers like Slim-Fast, Weight Watchers and producers of appetite suppressants. Foes of the AOA argue that if obesity is considered a disease, insurers will be forced to pay for weight loss regimens — which would serve to fatten the companies' profits.

The AOA counters that people with skin cancer or AIDS aren't denied insurance even though their conditions are behavior-driven — just like obesity.

We report ... you decide.

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