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New Jersey Bariatric Center® Issues Statement on the Classification of Obesity as a Disease by the American Medical Association

SPRINGFIELD, NJ (JUNE 19, 2013) – The decision by the American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest physician group, to officially classify obesity as a disease will open up doors for obese patients to get the treatment they need to improve their health, according to the weight loss surgery experts at the New Jersey Bariatric Center®, which specializes in Gastric Bypass, Gastric Band (LAP-BAND) and Gastric Sleeve procedures.

“Health insurers routinely exclude obesity treatments or make it difficult to obtain coverage,” said bariatric surgeon Ajay Goyal, MD, FACS, founder of New Jersey Bariatric Center®. “This classification sends a strong message that the treatment of obesity should be on equal footing with other serious diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.”

There are about 24 million Americans who have morbid obesity, which is determined by a person’s Body Mass Index, or BMI. A BMI of 40 or higher puts a person into the morbidly obese category. According to studies, individuals with a BMI above 40 are at a higher risk of developing serious illness like Type 2 Diabetes, sleep apnea and cancer.

“Bariatric surgery is well-studied as being a safe and effective option for patients who suffer from obesity to lose weight and improve their health and their lives,” said Dr. Goyal. “I hope that this new classification will help those combatting this disease get the treatment they need and also reduce some of the stigma associated with being obese.”

Bariatric surgery, including Gastric Bypass, Gastric Band (LAP-BAND) and Gastric Sleeve, are surgical options for the treatment of obesity. Studies show that patients who have weight loss surgery are more successful in keeping the weight off long-term than with diet and exercise alone. Weight loss surgery has also been shown to improve or resolve other conditions related to obesity, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and infertility.

About New Jersey Bariatric Center®

The New Jersey Bariatric Center®, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerset and Hoboken, New Jersey, helps patients achieve long-term weight loss success through the most advanced bariatric surgery procedures, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, LAP-BAND  and REALIZE Band procedures. Led by the team of Drs. Ajay Goyal, Glenn Forrester and Angela Jack Glasnapp and Leigh Montes, the New Jersey Bariatric Center®’s approach to patient care has resulted in zero mortalities and a complication rate that is lower than the national average. For more information about bariatric surgery, visit

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