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Should obesity be classed as a disability?

by VerityG (follow)
A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
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obesity man medical disability complications
By CDC via Wikimedia Commons


The European Court of Justice has ruled that, in certain circumstances, obesity can constitute a disability. The court said that if obesity could hinder "full and effective participation" at work then it could count as a disability.
Do you agree? Should obesity be classed as a disability?

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Top Answers
Yes, I do, but only when it comes to mobility issues. For example, I wouldn't consider someone being out of breath because they are out of weight, a disability, but if they had difficulty waking because of their wait, I would. I would also prefer to say that the results of the obesity (such as the ones mentioned in the picture) were actually the things called the disability rather than the obesity itself.
Some people cannot control their weight, no matter how hard they try. If classing obesity as a disability helps them to access medical and other support to tackle their problems, then I'm all for it. I do think it is open to abuse though.
No I do not think it should be classed as a disability as it is a self inflicted one.

I have seen them on television, and indeed they are virtually disabled, but if they did not just sit and eat all that fried and rubbish food all day, this would not happen.
by Finy
A lot of things can be self-inflicted (maybe performing a stunt on a bike/skateboard/etc, and it goes wrong), but it doesn't mean the person is not have the right for their affliction to be called a disability.

Over eating can be a serious mental health issue as well (e.g. binge eating); it might be self-inflicted, but it is not necessarily their fault, or something they can control.
I agree with Bryony - once you start saying something is self-inflicted therefore we won't help, you get into a very grey area. Would you refuse treatment to an ex-smoker who develops lung cancer? Or a reformed alcoholic who is diagnosed with cirrhosis?
And not everyone who is obese has become that way through sitting wround eating unhealthy food!
Having a formal classification of disability can help someone access support that isn't available otherwise so if it means they can start to tackle their obesity (whatever the reason for it) and return to being a productive member of society, isn't that a good thing?
No, I don't think it should. People may find themselves at different stages of obesity for different reasons. Obesity also may not impede persons from living a normal life. To me, it would be an insult to refer to someone who is obese as disabled.
Yes, I definitely think it should be classes as a disability. By classing it as a disability we can then provide services to help people who are struggling with the complications of obesity, including physical and emotional ones. People don't become obese because they are lazy, there's a whole lot more to it than that.
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