Workers’ compensation costs for employers could rise steeply as a result of a decision by the American Medical Association (AMA) to classify obesity as a treatable disease,a new report contends. The report by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI), prompted by AMA’s mid-June decision to approve a resolution reclassifying obesity as “a disease state,” says the AMA effectively declared that one-third of all Americans suffer from a medical condition that requires treatment.

In workers’ comp, obesity has historically been classified as co-morbidity— a condition that occurs at the same time, but usually independent of, an i­njury or illness.

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