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Published in Press Releases on June 20, 2013 (PDF)

Obesity research expert discusses AMA's recognition of condition as a disease

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JACKSON, Miss. – Broader recognition of the obesity epidemic, in part from the American Medical Association’s classification this week of obesity as a disease, could spur scientific research and funding for it, according to Dr. John E. Hall, a leading obesity investigator at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

In the linked interview Hall discusses the importance of recognizing obesity as a disease, the impact it has on bodily systems, and its contribution to other diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Recognizing obesity as a serious medical problem, and as contributor to a whole host of diseases, could help increase funding for research and clinical care, he said.

“We think obesity is going to be a major target for funding in the future,” said Hall, who founded the Mississippi Center for Obesity Research, or MCOR, in 2010. “I think there’s (also) going to be a rethinking about obesity treatment as perhaps a good way of saving costs in the long run.”

Hall is professor and chair of the University of Mississippi School of Medicine Department of Physiology and Biophysics. He also serves as UMMC associate vice chancellor for research.

MCOR is an effort to address obesity in Mississippi, first through basic science investigation, then through the addition of clinical, educational, outreach and preventive efforts. For more information on MCOR, visit