Officials want obesity to be recognized as disease

Posted Wednesday, June 18, 2014 --- 5:20 a.m.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Current and former top public health officials are calling on states and the federal government to recognize obesity as a disease.

Former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson will be in Lansing on Wednesday to urge Congress to pass legislation requiring Medicare to cover obesity medicines for seniors. The ex-Wisconsin governor is expected to join Michigan Department of Community Health Director James Haveman at a news conference in the state Capitol building.

Haveman plans to outline progress made on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's health and wellness plan.

Eighteen percent of Michigan's population was obese in 1995. The rate reached 32 percent by 2010, and officials are warning half of the state's residents could be obese by 2030.

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