View Poll Results: Is Obesity a Disability

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  • Yes, it is a disability.

    17 19.10%
  • No, it isn't a disability.

    55 61.80%
  • Maybe? Too much going on to say definitively.

    17 19.10%
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Thread: Is Obesity a disability?

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    Re: Is Obesity a disability?

    disability

    'dis·abil·i·ty noun \ˌdis-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\
    : a condition (such as an illness or an injury) that damages or limits a person's physical or mental abilities'


    Disability - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary


    According to the dictionary...obesity is a disability.

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    Re: Is Obesity a disability?

    Obesity itself may not always be a disability, but most obese people have more problems than just being overweight.

    I am morbidly obese. I have always been overweight since childhood. I weigh approx. 400 pounds (LBS)

    But I am not only obese, I have back problems (I am 45), problems with my knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders, hips. I am asthmatic and have skin problems of all kinds (which may or may not have to do with my weight). The most debilitating is (for unknown reasons but my doctors hope that it will get better after my surgery) several skin infections. They look and feel like boils, they fill up with blood and pus, grow to huge sizes at times making them extremely painful until they "blow" or burst. The most I have ever had was about 17 different places on my body. They can be found from the back of my neck all the way down to my knees. At the moment I only have 6 but some are on very "rotten" places.

    Walking is difficult due to my weight problems and damaged knees, ankles, back, hips makes walking very painful. I also have sleep apnea making me often tired. My sleep has gotten better but due to pain, I still have problems sleeping.

    The only problem I have that is not linked (as far as I know) is my trigeminal neuralgia, a condition that causes sharp pains in my facial area.

    The only option is to undergo surgery which will happen hopefully later this year. But until them pain killing pills is all I have, twice a day I have a 100mg pill (time released) of Tramadol and I can take another smaller dose if the pain is too bad during the day but try to limit that as much as possible. On top of that I am allowed to take 8 extra strength tylenols (or as we call them 500mg paracetamol).

    So as you can see extreme obesity can lead to disability. I am not ashamed of being like I am now even though I am trying to do something to combat it but if I will ever be able to walk pain free and for long distances is unknown. Also unknown is whether I will stop having most of my other health issues.

    There is one stupid/lucky thing though, most morbidly obese people have sugar disease problems but so far (knock on wood) I have not had them. My cholesterol and LDH levels are normal, just like my blood pressure.
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    Re: Is Obesity a disability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hijinx View Post
    As the topic states: Do you think that obesity counts as a legitimate disability?

    It's a pretty big deal in employment law according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and they count it as such under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act. For all intents and purposes it would make sense that it does count as a disability, as they are technically disabled by definition (physical impairment or lack of physical functioning). But I just can't help but disagree with the notion. Especially considering how I know many people and I'm sure many of you might as well, who eat themselves into that situation. They're literally eating and drinking themselves into being disabled, and they get counted among those who are actually medically obese. That's just wrong to me.

    Here is a humorous article about the subject: http://wearepeople2.com/obesity-a-di...esponsibility/

    Thoughts?
    For me it is important to know why they are obese.

    If it is a medical condition I could go along with it.

    if it is a choice, or they can't control what they put in their mouth, then no.

  4. #74
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    Re: Is Obesity a disability?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    Obesity is not "mainly" caused by some unpreventable condition or psychological problem. It is mainly caused by a lazy culture that makes it easy for people to eat badly, and for younger people, growing up being raised by people who fed them crap.

    I don't like cooking. It would be easy for me to fall into the "lazy eating" trap if it weren't for the fact that I grew up on good food, and I feel ill eating crap, whereas most Americans today seem to think feeling that way is normal. So I have no microwave, and I have an intentionally small freezer, and I just generally make it really difficult for myself to rely on crap, and therefore I eat reasonably well. I like good food. I just don't like making it. So I make it nearly impossible for myself to make bad food, thus I eat better.

    Personally, I have a demonic craving for sugar. This is very common in humans -- we need more sugar than a lot of critters do because of the energy demands of our brains, and it's hard to find in nature, so our drive for it is strong. I like to attribute my love of sugar to having an especially large brain.

    I have two ways I can address that. I can eat a lot of pastries and candy, or I can eat a lot of fruit. They both do the same thing. They both satisfy that craving.

    I admit I'm weak for a good donut, but if I keep my place stocked like a monkey's horde, I will eat fruit, because it's there. So that's what I do. And some dark chocolate. It's good for you.

    If I want my cookies, I'm gonna have to make them myself, and because I'm lazy, that doesn't happen terribly often. It's easier to eat the fruit. Even if the cookies do happen, at least I know they're made of actual food, not weird fillers and fake blueberries made to taste reminiscent of food.

    People started eating crap because it's easy. Candy can be bought in great quantity, because it usually doesn't go bad. Greasy highly processed foods take less prep and are more instantly gratifying -- just throw it in the microwave. Corn syrup makes things cheap. They are getting worse because now they're born into families where people have always eaten that way.

    Even people with medical problems are not simply relegated to ballooning out by 200 pounds, as someone else mentioned up-thread. I know a lot of people with such health issues. Over a dozen. An entire generation of my family got hit with metabolic problems and failures due to long-term toxin exposure, and I have several friends with various issues that can cause weight gain. None of them have gained more than 20 pounds. Most of them take their meds and they eat sensibly and many of them work out, and they have maintained a reasonable weight, with some staying within the normal range. Some have inched into the overweight category and can't get down lower than that, but being slightly overweight isn't a big deal as long as their lifestyle is good. The ones who don't do any of those things were already obese long before they had health problems.

    Metabolic issues are not a cause to simply throw up your hands and let your bum spread. We have treatments for these things, and most people can control their weight to an extent if they put in the effort.
    I think culture has a lot to do with obesity. It's a growing problem here in Spain, especially amongst kids who do very little exercise. Sports don't feature much in the schools' curriculum and the popularity of computer games and online social networking means that they don't do enough physical activity. The growing marketing of fast foods is also a part of the problem. Fortunately, that's not such a big deal here in the sticks where there isn't a McDonalds within 60km, but store-bought, highly processed foods are an issue, as are deadly, sugar-laden fizzy drinks.

    Personally, I don't know any friends or neighbours who are morbidly obese although many, like me, could do to lose 20lbs or so.

    What I see from the States (and parts of northern Europe) is that poor eating choices and unhealthy leisure activities are almost fetishised. The number of US sitcoms that show people arriving to work with huge trays of frosted and chocolatey doughnuts to share around has always struck me as weird. Do people really do that? Also, and someone will correct me if I'm wrong, people in the States seem to eat out at fast food diners and restaurants incredibly often and the kind of foods they eat in those places are all high-fat, high-sugar content fayre. I've nothing against fat-food joints as a very occasional treat, but Americans (and Brits, Germans, Dutch, Canadians etc) seem to do so far more than just 'occasionally'.

    I'm probably about 12kg (25lbs) over my ideal weight for my age and height and I need to do something about that. I cook for a living and that always runs the risk of over-eating and drinking too much alcohol, but in my experience, the key is exercise. A lot of people get into a vicious cycle of over-eating, putting on weight and then feeling that exercise it too hard, so they don't, and the weight carries on increasing, leading to exercise seeming even harder. Everyone needs to be taught and encouraged to see how it is possible to break that cycle, start enjoying exercise again, and stop using comfort food as, well a comfort to forget about feeling unfit.
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    Re: Is Obesity a disability?

    I have seen many posts on here basically saying that obesity should not be a disability because it is, in many cases, self imposed. If we are drawing that line I would question quite a few other disabilities under that same premise. Accidents at work that could have prevented? People who smoked? Have an accident doing a recreational activity? My point is many disabilities are caused by choices an individual makes. Obesity isnt really that different. If a person is unable to work due to physical or mental limitations, regardless of the cause then they are disabled.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
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    Re: Is Obesity a disability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreton View Post
    I have seen many posts on here basically saying that obesity should not be a disability because it is, in many cases, self imposed. If we are drawing that line I would question quite a few other disabilities under that same premise. Accidents at work that could have prevented? People who smoked? Have an accident doing a recreational activity? My point is many disabilities are caused by choices an individual makes. Obesity isnt really that different. If a person is unable to work due to physical or mental limitations, regardless of the cause then they are disabled.
    Risky behavior is different than a disability. Smoking is different from skiing.

    That said, some insurers...and maybe more in the future...do require higher premiums for some activities. I have friends that have to pay more because they scuba dive.

    Alot of it has to do with the insurer's risks and if the costs may have to be spread out over too many people too often. (I dont know insurance phrasing...it can be across an insurance pool or tax payers). Things like helmet laws and seat belt laws are driven by that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have felt pain when I was in the womb. So when you say they are incapable of feeling pain, that is based on junk science.
    Quote Originally Posted by applejuicefool View Post
    A murderer putting a bullet through someone's brain is a medical procedure too.

  7. #77
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    Re: Is Obesity a disability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lursa View Post
    Risky behavior is different than a disability. Smoking is different from skiing.

    That said, some insurers...and maybe more in the future...do require higher premiums for some activities. I have friends that have to pay more because they scuba dive.

    Alot of it has to do with the insurer's risks and if the costs may have to be spread out over too many people too often. (I dont know insurance phrasing...it can be across an insurance pool or tax payers). Things like helmet laws and seat belt laws are driven by that.
    I dont disagree with what you are saying. However it doesn't change what I am saying about disability. There are many people who are on disability that caused their disability just as much as obese people.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
    Stephen R. Covey


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    Re: Is Obesity a disability?

    There's no doubt obese people have it tough. I'm not going to weigh in on "disability" but a good friend of mine was around 400 or so before his surgery. People are obese for different reasons but people for some reason think they can treat you like **** when you're obese. That's actually people that say it to an obese persons face. I've been around when people have thought it's cool to randomly shout stuff to him in a public place. Now imagine what people think and don't say? Yeah...human beings are pretty ****ing horrible to people that are different but I wouldn't go as far to say it's a disability.
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    Re: Is Obesity a disability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreton View Post
    I dont disagree with what you are saying. However it doesn't change what I am saying about disability. There are many people who are on disability that caused their disability just as much as obese people.
    Oh I see, you were looking at it more long term. Then yes, the result can be the same....except they look at things like those behaviors smoking, skiing, etc, as risk factors but they dont look at 'eating' as a risk factor (That I know of)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have felt pain when I was in the womb. So when you say they are incapable of feeling pain, that is based on junk science.
    Quote Originally Posted by applejuicefool View Post
    A murderer putting a bullet through someone's brain is a medical procedure too.

  10. #80
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    Re: Is Obesity a disability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lursa View Post
    Our bodies naturally crave certain things, like fat and sugar. We evolved to do so and our modern diets and physiology have not continued to progress at the same rates. That is not an 'underlying mental or physical issue.' That is human physiology.

    "Most" people do not have diabetes or other medical conditions that contribute heavily to their obesity. (pun intended)

    As far as I'm concerned, your claims are more incorrect than correct.

    I havent seen the claims supported.
    Try reading the links provided. Every one of them talks about other issues besides eating too much or inactivity, though that is a factor for some.

    My statements have been supported, including previous links. Your choice to either not read them or ignore what you read is on you.

    Causes of Morbid Obesity: Genetic & Other - Wake Forest Baptist, North Carolina

    Factors Contributing to Obesity

    What Causes Overweight and Obesity? - NHLBI, NIH
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