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EU Government Medicine

EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability 625

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes The EU's top court is considering a test case which could oblige employers to treat obesity as a disability. Denmark has asked the European Court of Justice to rule on the case of a male childminder who says he was sacked for being too fat. The court's final ruling will be binding across the EU. It is seen as especially significant because of rising obesity levels in Europe and elsewhere, including the US. If the judges decide it is a disability then employers could face new obligations. Employers might in future have a duty to create reserved car parking spaces for obese staff, or adjust the office furniture for them, she said.
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EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

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  • Hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gerardrj ( 207690 ) on Friday June 13, 2014 @12:50AM (#47227351) Journal

    So the people who could most use the exercise are going to have to walk the least.

    I guess the overall plan makes sense; if you were to chop off your own leg you'd be considered disabled; I don't think the law makes any exceptions for self inflicted disability. It just seems wrong, though. Eat your way to not being able to fit in the office cubicle and your boss has to accommodate your mass by re-engineering the doors and floor to handle your breadth and heft.

  • by TrollstonButterbeans ( 2914995 ) on Friday June 13, 2014 @12:55AM (#47227375)
    And governments should be looking for ways to curb/eliminate obesity (as incredibly hard as this is).

    I expect governments to do the opposite, however, and not fight against obesity and instead grant it privledges (special park spaces, etc.) and such.

    Bloomberg was one of the few politicians willing to stick his neck out and implement common sense reforms.

    Obesity needs the treatment that smoking was given.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @01:28AM (#47227487)

    Who is "we?" I'm not obese. Nobody in my family is obese. My family does not manufacture nor sell food. Therefore, it is not my problem. I do not care if others are obese and die ae a result of their obesity. It is not my concern. You live your life your way, I'll live my life my way. There is no "we."

  • by Mr.CRC ( 2330444 ) on Friday June 13, 2014 @02:07AM (#47227621)

    Skip the whole grains. Carbs are the whole problem, and while whole grains may have more nutrition, they are still digested nearly as quickly as pure sugar. The resulting release of insulin causes the storage of fat AND the eventual depression of blood sugar which causes craving for food. After more than 30 years of struggling with waking up hungry at night, regardless of whether I ate a lot or little, after trying a ketogenic diet, I no longer get hunger pangs. Fat just melts away, without even trying or worrying about counting calories. I no longer suddenly step from fine to lightheaded and agonizing hunger pangs 2-3 hrs after every meal. Rather I just slowly start getting tired and a little weak.

    Basically, modern medicine has pulled a fast one on the population, by selling the low-fat diet. It's false. And now it is embedded into government policy! The reason for obesity is carbs. People can't help themselves but to eat when faced with the intensity of cravings for food that high carb. low fat diets cause. The Drs. have caused the obesity epidemic with their attempts to prevent heart disease. http://www.biosciencetechnolog... [biosciencetechnology.com] http://online.wsj.com/news/art... [wsj.com]

  • by Neil Boekend ( 1854906 ) on Friday June 13, 2014 @04:19AM (#47227981)

    Warning: some necessary graphic imagery

    The main difference between white [self.com] and whole grain bread [self.com] is the fibers. White doesn't have much of them. In starch content they are quite similar (if you compensate for the difference in serving size).
    Fibers help your bowel movements. They prevent the most common blockages in your intestines but in extreme cases it can cause continuous diarrhea due to the same reason. They don't do anything else, they aren't absorbed through the intestine wall.
    For most people this means "eat whole grain", because our intestines are used to the fibers. If you don't you risk blocking your intestines, which is quite painful.
    Personally I shouldn't eat to much whole grain because blockages aren't the issue with me. On the contrary.

    Ergo: white bread is digested more slowly than whole wheat. Quite the opposite of your statement.
    That doesn't mean your conclusion is wrong. slow bowel movements means more starch (and other nutrients) are absorbed in the body. Fast bowel movements means that more carbohydrates are pooped out and thus not turned to fat in the body. If you add the other stuff you eat with the fibers (a burger for example) which also passes through faster and more of which gets pooped out then you see WHY fibers are good for weight loss.

    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I just spend a lot of time with doctors and extensively discuss healthy food with them. I have spend a lot of time trying to understand how food works and why some foods are unhealthy. I have, however, not had formal education on it.

  • by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Friday June 13, 2014 @05:14AM (#47228177) Journal

    I disagree.

    I don't think it is a matter of "more rights", any more than you get "more rights" when you turn 40 and enter that legally protected class in the US.

    Almost all discrimination is legal. There are very few things you cannot legally discriminate against.

    In an idealized world, people get jobs because they can do the job. They can keep the job as long as they do it well. The only factor used to discriminate (=differentiate) is the ability to do the job.

    In the real world, once the field is narrowed people get interviewed and decisions get made based on tons of factors. How people look doesn't really matter to most technical workers, but would you rather hire the ideal-weight handsome person, or the 450 pound ugly guy?

    We discriminate all the time, and do it legally. Employers discriminate based on education, based on job history. We discriminate based on regional accents, and hair styles, and body language. Those aren't protected classes. Employers discriminate based on all kinds of factors that have nothing to do with the job, even your cologne choice at an interview can make the difference between the person hired and the person told "no". People discriminate based on body fat. Currently it is not a protected status, so the discrimination is currently acceptable. That one might be changing.

  • by bjwest ( 14070 ) on Friday June 13, 2014 @08:40AM (#47228907)

    Carbohydrate-laden food is physically addictive, and depression is a common reason for chronic overeating which can lead to obesity. You're blaming victims. Congratulations! You have managed to pick on the only groups it's still permitted to pick on, the fat and the depressed! You win teh prize! Teh asshole prize.

    Nicotine is physically addictive as well, so is alcohol, meth, heroin, cocaine and any number of drugs. Should these people be considered disabled as well? No, if you're fat due to overeating, you are no more disabled than a smoker, alcoholic or drug addict.

    It's bad enough they're a drain on the medical system, but how much longer until the morbidly obese by choice (and yes, addiction or not, it is a choice) are allowed to draw disability pay and not have to work?

  • by Altus ( 1034 ) on Friday June 13, 2014 @11:24AM (#47230149) Homepage

    though in order to enjoy protection one has to go into rehab. Maybe for this one would have to go to a gym or enroll in a weight loss program.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI