What’s the biggest hurdle when treating the disease of obesity? It starts with the name. It’s time to redefine obesity, say leading experts.

As a means to revolutionize the diagnosis, treatment and management of one of the world’s most menacing chronic diseases – obesity, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) released a bold statement that redefines the medical diagnostic term of obesity – a disease with which more than one-third (36.5 percent) of U.S. adults have been diagnosed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The new term developed and introduced by AACE and ACE - Adiposity-Based Chronic Disease or ABCD - focuses on the characteristic pathophysiological effects of excess weight, rather than the weight itself, and offers physicians standardized protocols for weight loss and treatments for obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some types of cancers and others.

For many years, obesity has been overwhelmingly defined and measured using Body Mass Index (BMI), a calculation involving only a subject’s weight and height, not taking other factors such as muscle mass into account. This imprecise and confusing term also fails to address the health implications of excess weight. Further, the term “obesity” carries with it a societal stigma that negatively effects treatment and care opportunities. By redefining the term to address the negative health outcomes from obesity, improvements in screening and patient clinical care should improve dramatically.

In 2012, AACE first declared obesity as a disease state, an assessment officially adopted by the American Medical Association in 2014.

The new ABCD diagnostic term will be incorporated into the AACE/ACE chronic care model available to all health professionals, and is a direct outgrowth of the AACE/ACE 2014 Consensus Conference on Obesity, in which leading international experts collaborated on the need for a medically meaning and actionable diagnosis of obesity.

To learn more about the ABCD of obesity and to interview the three authors, contact AACE at (904) 404-4160.

Click here to read the ABCD position statement on obesity.