MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The nation’s largest medical group has just recognized obesity as a disease.

The new distinction may lead to policy changes in terms of interventions and treatments.

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Obesity affects one out of every three American adults. It’s linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers.

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Previously, the American Medical Association called it a public health problem. Now, by calling it a disease, it could mean more help for people battling obesity.

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The medical costs of obesity in the U.S. states total about $150 billion annually.