Oh for God’s sake

Extreme obesity may in future be classified as a disability under EU law, providing protection for morbidly overweight workers who suffer discrimination at work.

This will mean you can’t fire a firefighter who is too much of a lardbucket to get up a ladder, all doors and corridors must be widened so that fatties can get through them and yes, even that in Germany, where prostitution is legal, not hiring the 300 lb monstrosity will be “diiscriminaaaashun”.

The problem is not that morbid obesity may or may not be a disability, rather the panoply of laws that surround anything that is described as a disability.

19 comments on “Oh for God’s sake

  1. This story has slmost every flavour of Euro-fail in it.

    * Pathetic subset of society running (well, waddling) to the courts seeking protected minority status.

    * a ‘childminder’, who is male, and who worked for the council. Three things that should not go together.

    If fatness is truly a disability we need to round up fatties and put them in health camps for their own good before they make their disability worse by eating deep fried ice cream or whatever.

    After all, we wouldn’t let a wheelchair guy somehow cripple himself even more, would we?

    If we give special rewards and sympathy to fat people, we’ll get more of them. Then they’ll eat us.

  2. The way to cure fat people of fatness is to point at them in the street and laugh at them.

  3. The Guardian will demand “All fat” short lists for political constituencies. Panorama will investigate why there aren’t any obese people in the England football team.

    Tend of thousands will march from Jarrow to London, but stop just on the edge of Jarrow for a double chocolate muffin and then chain themselves to a chip shop in protest.

  4. “in Germany, where prostitution is legal, not hiring the 300 lb monstrosity will be “diiscriminaaaashun”.”

    No, Tim, it won’t be. You sound like the Daily Mail this morning.

  5. MB,

    > The way to cure fat people of fatness is to point at them in the street and laugh at them.

    I knew that cured everyone of thinking you’re not a cunt, but had no idea it worked on obesity too. Gosh.

  6. > you can’t fire a firefighter who is too much of a lardbucket to get up a ladder

    Actually, Tim, because “obesity” is measured using the absurd BMI, and because muscle is heavier than fat, most firefighters probably are officially obese. Bruce Willis and Sly Stallone are.

  7. There’s an entire episode of South Park in which Cartman (the fat kid) discovers that if he manages to gain a few extra pounds, he qualifies as officially obese and his health insurance company will pay for a mobility scooter.

    The show is generally hit & miss, but this episode is definitely a hit. It’s called “Raising the Bar”, S16E09.

  8. Andrew M – The Simpsons already did it.

    Remember Homer got to over 300 lbs so he could qualify as disabled, work from home, wearing a muumuu and a fat guy hat?

  9. Actually, Tim, because “obesity” is measured using the absurd BMI, and because muscle is heavier than fat, most firefighters probably are officially obese.

    “BMI is not used to definitively diagnose obesity” – NHS

  10. Clinton brought it to us here in the States in the ’90s, with the Americans With Disabilities Act. “Accommodation” became the law of the land. The law actually required companies, in some cases, to hire people to sit next to the “disabled” and do their work for them.

  11. UKLiberty, the NHS might say that, but see all the schoolkids sent fat letters on the basis of that alone, and tell me it won’t happen…

  12. “BMI is not used to definitively diagnose obesity” – NHS

    Indeed. The NHS do not use it as the sole clinical diagnosis factor.

    But.

    The military recruit to it (I was speaking, yesterday, to a fit WO1, who has been told he needs to lose 18 pounds before he will pass his commissioning medical. Crazy), schools apply it indiscriminately, the NHS uses it as a rationing criterion for operations. It has widespread application, well beyond its effectiveness as an analytical metric.

  13. Anyone that uses an obesity metric that has units of kg•m^-2 needs to be hit with a book on dimensional analysis until they’re very, very sorry. Of course there are more sophisticated diagnostic criteria (like can you get up to answer the door for the pizza delivery guy without having to take a breather halfway), but any cabbage can put two numbers in text boxes, hit ‘Calculate’ and get a number out the other side, so that is what happens.

    As Tim says, this has nothing to do with public health (an extremely dubious concept in its own right) and everything to do with extending the power of Leviathan. There’s an article in The Federalist today pointing out how even as norms of personal behaviour get ever more permissive, the State’s enforcement of their acceptance becomes ever more heavy-handed. This is obviously not very libertarian, and we have the bizarre situation where gays can get married (yay!) but someone has to bake a cake for them at the point of a gun (boo!).

  14. @SQ2
    “> The way to cure fat people of fatness is to point at them in the street and laugh at them.

    I knew that cured everyone of thinking you’re not a cunt, but had no idea it worked on obesity too. Gosh.”

    Are you implying you don’t like the method or that it wouldn’t work?

    Societal pressure’s a good way to change behaviour. Hence kids being told at school to nag their parents over smoking, recycling & this week, use of hospital A&E depts.

    Or only in favour of things you approve of?

  15. No-one sane uses BMI rigidly. The way it’s supposed to be used is that you look at BMI, then correct for stuff like height and muscle mass. My doctor looks at me and says (and I’m paraphrasing) ‘your BMI is a bit high, but since you have the body of Adonis, that probably means you’re a bit underweight’.

    If your doctor tries to use BMI rigidly, report him to the medical authorities and get him retrained, because he’s a danger to patients. The guidance is abundantly clear, so any doctor acting in that way is negligent.

  16. I hate to be picky, but if they’re morbidly obese aren’t they going to die soon anyway?

  17. PS never type “morbidly obese” into a search engine then accidentally hit the Image tab, especially if your safesearch is off.

  18. B(n)IS

    “Are you implying you don’t like the method or that it wouldn’t work?”

    No, he’s implying that it’s not a problem.

    “Societal pressure’s a good way to change behaviour. Hence kids being told at school to nag their parents over smoking, recycling & this week, use of hospital A&E depts.”

    As you clearly agree.

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