"It's been often said that genetics loads the gun but society pulls the trigger when it comes to obesity," said Dr. Lee Trotter, bariatric director at the Black Hills Surgery Hospital.
Or in other words, Dr. Trotter says processed food and inactivity make obesity worse, but for some it's in their genes, and obesity itself is not their fault. "The reason people are obese is because they eat too much, they're lazy, they're dirty, they don't take care of themselves," said Trotter. "These are cliches that have been present for decades and they're not correct."
But others say obesity is a choice. "I do believe that it's a lifestyle change that needs to be made to save our kids from obesity," said Joyce Dennis, a concerned individual.
Dr. Trotter says the American Medical Association recognizing obesity as a disease puts a spotlight on the issue in Washington D.C. "Help pass laws to improve the health of the citizens of this nation," said Trotter.
For Dr. Trotter, improving the health of obese patients means getting insurance companies to cover the problem itself. "Insurance carriers will often cover a medical problem, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, but they will not cover the underlying cause that produces the problems, which in most cases is obesity," said Trotter.
But Dr. Trotter agrees that a lifestyle change is necessary for Americans - eating better and exercising- to help control the level of obesity. But he says for some, doing everything right won't fix the problem. "They're still obese," said Trotter.