Chicago, IL - The American Medical Association Tuesday said obesity shouldn't be considered a disability, because it could limit doctors' ability to talk to patients about their weight.
Defining obesity as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act would enable advocacy groups to challenge weight discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere.
But the AMA is concerned that it could also open the door to discrimination lawsuits if overweight patients take offense to a doctor discussing their weight.
The doctors group, in Chicago this week for its annual meeting, passed a formal resolution on the subject Tuesday.
"We have to have the freedom to talk to our patients and help them lose weight," said Dr. Domenic Federico, a member of the Michigan delegation that proposed the measure.
Also on Tuesday, the AMA's house of delegates pledged to lobby Congress to ban the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies nationwide, on the basis that pharmacies are part of the health care system and should not sell tobacco.
The AMA meeting concludes today with a vote on the organization's stance on a "public option" health insurance plan for the uninsured.