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    European Court Rules Obesity Could Be Characterized as ‘Disability’

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    Potentially, the ruling means that British employers might be required to treat their obese workers as "disabled" and provide them with all necessary facilities, such as special parking lots, as stipulated by the court's directive on employment equality.

    EDINBURGH, December 18 (Sputnik) – The European Court of Justice ruled Thursday that obesity can be categorized as a "disability" under the Employment Equality Directive in a ruling that could have implications across the European Union.

    The ruling stated that if physical impairments such as obesity "hinder the full and effective participation of that person in professional life" then such obesity can fall within the "concept of disability".

    The court's decision followed an appeal to the court by Danish care worker Karsten Kaltoft who was dismissed in November 2010 on grounds, he claims, of his obesity.

    Potentially, the ruling means that British employers might be required to treat their obese workers as "disabled" and provide them with all necessary facilities, such as special parking lots, as stipulated by the court's directive on employment equality.

    Two thirds of men in the United Kingdom are currently classified obese, with 55 percent of women also falling into that category. According to the University of Washington, obesity levels in Britain are at their highest levels for three decades.

    Researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation also conducted a worldwide study of 188 countries that highlighted obesity is a growing global problem with obesity levels in men rising from 29 percent in 1980 to 37 percent in 2013. The proportion of obese women rose from 30 percent to 38 percent over the same study period.


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    health, obesity, European Court of Justice, Britain
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