Chicago, IL—The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted several new policies in June at its annual meeting, held here, several of which intersect with the food and nutrition industries.

First, AMA said it now considers obesity to be a disease “requiring a range of medical interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention.”

The group also stated it supports a ban on the marketing of high-stimulant/caffeine drinks to children under the age of 18. “Energy drinks contain massive and excessive amounts of caffeine that may lead to a host of health problems in young people, including heart problems, and banning companies from marketing these products to adolescents is a common sense action that we can take to protect the health of American kids,” said AMA board member Alexander Ding, M.D.

Last, AMA believes that reimbursement through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) should not include sugar-sweetened beverages. Currently, the group says that 58% of beverages purchased through SNAP are sugar sweetened.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, August 2013 (online 6/26/13)