How Obesity Can Make Someone Disabled

by Editorial Board on April 9, 2012 · 0 comments

in Obesity

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Recent research now states that obesity can constitute a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  This has been quite a controversial issue, and to say that progress has been made in cases with people who are obese regarding disability is an understatement.

The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) states that a person who is obese, even without any other underlying medical conditions, is sufficiently impacted by the problem that it affects the most elementary basics in life, such as: walking, bending, sitting, climbing stairs, digestion and cell growth and as such, these problems should be considered a disability.

Obese people face challenges on a daily basis that are caused by their condition. There is a terrible stigma associated with obesity.  Obesity, morbidly obese and severely obese is interchangeable as far as EEOC is concerned.  There is quite a discrepancy in someone who is 30 pounds overweight, compared to someone who is 200 pounds overweight. The arguments stands that based on a person’s inability to perform daily tasks in conjunction with their medical condition are how disability benefits are determined.

There is a misconception that if people are obese they call off from work more often, are sick more often than other employees, can’t function in various labor or administrative roles and cost the company more for medical insurance.  Any employee has the potential to call off frequently, become ill, etc.  But there is a significant correlation between weight and work limitations in both males and females which can lead to disability.

Obesity is a risk factor for chronic illnesses.  In addition, other conditions may cause obesity due to lack of physical activity.  The  increase in obesity has contributed to many secondary conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, back  and musculoskeletal problems.

Obesity can be a disabling condition, either by itself or more commonly in combination with other impairments. To be disabled most will need to prove they are unable to do work activities on a sustained basis with medical records.

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