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To think that unless caused by an underlying health condition, obesity..

(174 Posts)
GraysAnalogy Thu 18-Dec-14 21:04:15

should not be classed as a disability?

Recent story about a childminder being sacked as he was too overweight to do his job properly. He took this to court for unfair dismissal and it is being argued that his obesity could be classed as a disability.

There has been no ruling yet.

In your opinion, should it?

Enpoid Thu 18-Dec-14 21:06:48

What qualifies as an underlying health condition, in your opinion?

LuckyLopez Thu 18-Dec-14 21:08:07

I thought the European court ruled that it could be classed as a disability.

GraysAnalogy Thu 18-Dec-14 21:09:39

Any that are medical proven to be a cause of obesity confused like hormone problems.

RoastingYourChestnutsHurtsAlot Thu 18-Dec-14 21:09:52

Obesity itself isn't a disability but it is very disabling and many of the health issues that have co morbidity are legally defined as disabilities

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Thu 18-Dec-14 21:10:03

Why shouldn't it?
Of course you will no doubt use the 'it's their own fault they are obese' argument.
If a heavy smoker ends up with chronic lung disease/ emphysema they can be registered disabled. Is that any different?

GraysAnalogy Thu 18-Dec-14 21:10:17

Sorry lucky you're right, it's the national courts that haven't.

JoanHickson Thu 18-Dec-14 21:12:41

Yanbu, science doesn't always have the answers to every medical condition yet and HCP's often miss diagnose or miss medical conditions. You don't know why some people overeat and are not moving enough, YET.

GraysAnalogy Thu 18-Dec-14 21:12:50

sharon I think the differences there is obesity can be reversed perhaps?

My main point here is the issue of unfair dismissal. If someone is unable to do their job properly due to gaining weight I don't think they should be able to state they're disabled to combat the dismissal.

jimmycrackcornbutidontcare Thu 18-Dec-14 21:12:51

I have a feeling this thread will go badly. I see your point though. If someone is obese because they like eating a whole cake every night then they are not disabled. Some will argue that there may be underlying self esteem issues etc which in some cases there may be. But again, that is not really the same as being disabled.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Thu 18-Dec-14 21:13:41

It can but it's not a quick fix in some cases

JoanHickson Thu 18-Dec-14 21:14:42

I meant YABU.

Enpoid Thu 18-Dec-14 21:14:46

Well, I got fat because I had to take medications that cause dramatic weight gain for several years.

A friend of mine is fat because she has an eating disorder.

Another friend is fat because he feels extremely hungry - all the time (we suspect it may be linked to his chronically low blood sugar).

In fact, every fat person who I know well has a reason which, if they stated it to someone making an argument like this, would probably get an "Oh, not YOU, I meant those fat people who can help it" type response. As, I suspect, would many other fat people, who pretty much just look like fat people, not people with a medical condition.

GraysAnalogy Thu 18-Dec-14 21:15:56

I have a feeling now too jimmy but I'm genuinely interested in people's views on this. I don't want any fat shaming replies or anything like that, I just want people to look at it objectively.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Thu 18-Dec-14 21:17:42

Well come on we all know these stupid fat cunts should just stop stuffing themselves with cake and not expect any support for their physical problems as like these anorexic cunts who just need to eat something so they don't end up disabled due to brittle bones. Ffs people it's simple...

CrohnicChristmas Thu 18-Dec-14 21:17:46

I think that extreme obesity should indeed be classed as a disability- after all, if someone is so obese that they have difficulty moving it fits the definition of a long term condition that has a significant negative impact on day to day life.

However as with most disabilities, I do think there comes a point when you can't make any more reasonable adjustments and if they still can't perform the job (and there are no suitable alternatives) then you should be able to fairly dismiss them.

Otherwise, say I was a delivery driver and became blind, I would have to remain employed indefinitely by the company even though I clearly couldn't fulfil my duties any more!

ProudAS Thu 18-Dec-14 21:19:21

I can see where the OP is coming from but it may not be that simple in practice as causes are not always clear.

I seem to remember reading that alcoholism is not classed as a disability by the EA but effects such as liver disease are.

Enpoid Thu 18-Dec-14 21:19:23

Quite apart from the fact that whether or not an impairment is self-inflicted doesn't have any bearing on whether or not the person is disabled. If I break my back by being a twat on my motorbike I'm just as disabled as if I broke my back saving fucking orphans or something.

GraysAnalogy Thu 18-Dec-14 21:19:27

I'm a fat person, but I know it's just because I eat too much and don't move enough. But I don't have any physical limits because I manage to keep my weight into the 'overweight' not 'obese' category.

If it came to the point where I'd gained that much weight I couldn't do my job properly, it'd be begger's belief if I tried to accuse my employers of discrimination.

SaucyJack Thu 18-Dec-14 21:19:45

I do kind of agree, and I don't think the ruling will do people any favours in the long-term when it comes to encouraging people to look after their own health.

CrohnicChristmas Thu 18-Dec-14 21:19:57

I said 'extreme obesity' by the way, as I know at least one person whose BMI says they are clinically obese, yet she is approx a size 16 and her weight makes no difference whatsoever to her daily life and she clearly is not disabled by it.

dreamingofsun Thu 18-Dec-14 21:20:34

my husband said it was something to do with not being able to tie shoe laces. I would be more worried about their ability to chase after a child and stop them running into the road, or other dangerous situation.

surely if someone is too overweight to do their job, you should be able to sack them? Otherwise you'd potentially have to pay for 2 childminders all the time to look after your child - one to do the job and the fat one to do whatever?

MammaTJ Thu 18-Dec-14 21:21:49

There is research that argues that in the pre phase to Type 2 diabetes, that people are more inclined to gain weight. Now, people who are overweight are more inclined to get type 2 diabetes. It seems like as case of 'which came first, the chicken or the egg?' to me, so maybe not as clear but as your OP suggests.

Will add evidence in the morning if I remember, too tired after a hard week at uni and over 100 miles travel home tonight to be dealing with evidence based practice even though I only read it last night

JoanHickson Thu 18-Dec-14 21:22:12

I think it's going to be a struggle to get employment now for anyone fat.

Enpoid Thu 18-Dec-14 21:22:33

So anyway, Gray, where's your big list of proper medical conditions that are medically proven to cause obesity? I just want to find out if I'm a feckless loser or an innocent victim of illness.

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