Washington, D.C. – The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) criticized a vote by the American Medical Association (AMA) today at its annual conference that classifies obesity as a disease.

J. Justin Wilson, CCF’s Senior Research Analyst, released the following statement regarding the misguided decision:

Labeling obesity a “disease” does a disservice to the millions of Americans trying to lose weight. It only serves to set them up for failure, as they blame their newly-defined affliction, rather than their own lack of personal responsibility. No one denies that the obesity equation is relatively simple: if you eat too much and exercise too little, you’ll put on weight.

This is the only disease that I’m aware of that can be cured by going for a long walk. Obesity is, fundamentally, an issue of personal irresponsibility, period.

If we’re going to win the “war” on obesity, we cannot afford to have overweight individuals say to themselves, “I can’t help it, I’m sick.” It was a lack of personal responsibility that caused them to put on the pounds, and as study after study demonstrates, only personal responsibility will help them lose it.