In one study, reading a fictional news story about "obesity genes" led participants to eat more cookies in a subsequent task. iStockphoto hide caption toggle caption iStockphoto 13.7: Cosmos And Culture Is Obesity A Disease? July 7, 2014 Last year the American Medical Association voted to recognize obesity as a disease. But what's in a name? Commentator Tania Lombrozo reviews new evidence that suggests it matters.