The Israel Medical Association (IMA) today declared obesity a disease.
According to figures published by the Histadrut trade union, about 4,000 people die in Israel every year as a result of obesity.
One-quarter of the adult population in Israel suffers from obesity, and about 12.5% of seventh graders are also obese.
In fact, one in four people in Israel suffers from obesity. 70% of people who suffer from obesity also suffer from diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
"Obesity is a recurring chronic disease due to dysfunction of physiological-genetic mechanisms and is not due to behavioral weakness," the statement said.
"A person with obesity needs comprehensive counseling and treatment. Only 10 percent of people who lost weight by just changing lifestyle actually managed to maintain their weight loss for a year," they added.