Obese Canadians should be granted legal protection from discrimination, professor says
I 100% agree that no individual should be discriminated against because of their physical appearance, ever. However, I think considering an obese person as disabled is pushing it; unless there are physiological or medical reasons contributing to their inability to lose weight.
What do you think?
I’m having mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, no one should be bullied or discriminated against because of their appearance, including body size. I also think that at the point a person weighs 500 lbs or more and can’t even bend over to tie their shoes, they are functionally disabled.
On the other hand, this is a disability that, at least potentially, can be corrected. In extreme cases, such as the person mentioned in the article, surgery is required to restrict a person’s food intake and assist in weight loss. In many other cases, adjusting diet and engaging in regular exercise of some sort, over the long haul, will eventually reduce a person’s body fat and make them more able to perform ordinary functions.
The interesting thing about this “disability” is that it’s preventable. A person can be born blind or with a spinal problem making it impossible for them to ever walk, but no one is born obese. In most cases, this starts out as a lifestyle issue that the parents have some control of in their children. I think we’ve already identified the elements that are contributing to runaway obesity in the U.S. and Canada, but only individual families are going to be able to take charge of their children and themselves and reverse the process.
If we don’t, then we are voluntarily contributing to a mass health epidemic that will cause an ever increasing strain on the public health care system.
Don’t discriminate or bully, I agree. But we need to educate the generation coming up about not just how to feed the mind but the body.
I could not agree with you more, or have said it better myself James! It is preventable – more the reason for us to put more emphasis on prevention rather than treatment. Education is needed early on, and as individuals we have a responsibility to take care of our kids and ourselves, so self-education should also be a prioity. However, there are many cities in North America where residents find themselves surrounded by fast food, and the nearest grocery store is miles away. With that said, its not so black and white; but I’d say the bottom line is discrimination is unacceptable by any means.
Yes, I agree with your bottom line.