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EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the can't-work-eating dept.

EU 625

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes The EU's top court is considering a test case which could oblige employers to treat obesity as a disability. Denmark has asked the European Court of Justice to rule on the case of a male childminder who says he was sacked for being too fat. The court's final ruling will be binding across the EU. It is seen as especially significant because of rising obesity levels in Europe and elsewhere, including the US. If the judges decide it is a disability then employers could face new obligations. Employers might in future have a duty to create reserved car parking spaces for obese staff, or adjust the office furniture for them, she said.

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on behalf of america (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227299)

i'm sorry europe.

Re:on behalf of america (5, Insightful)

brainboyz (114458) | about 2 months ago | (#47227345)

One can hope that if this goes through they put the designated parking spots at the back of the parking lot.

Re:on behalf of america (1)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 2 months ago | (#47227601)

Well to be fair, pretty soon employers are not going to have much choice.

Several cities are already at the 40% mark. It won't be a question of choice, the only viable candidates will all be obese.

The choice will be to accommodate and hire, or refuse to hire anybody and stall your business.

Re:on behalf of america (0)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 months ago | (#47227423)

If a European court passes a stupid law, it's their own fault.

Re:on behalf of america (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227459)

It's US companies that are bribing^W lobbying them to pass the stupid laws.

Re:on behalf of america (2)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 months ago | (#47227485)

Yeah yeah, it's always America's fault. Never any need for being responsible for one's own actions. Sure.

Re:on behalf of america (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227639)

Never any need for being responsible for one's own actions. Sure.

Then you take responsibility for managing your toxic government and corporations which export their corrupt lobbying practices to th rest of the world.

Re:on behalf of america (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227773)

They only sell to those who buy. Stop buying shit, and they will find something else to sell. If you insist on buying crap, someone will always sell it to you. In the end, it is up to you the buyer. Stop blaming others.

Re: on behalf of america (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 months ago | (#47227707)

So America is going to take responsibility for fucking up Iraq and send troops back over to fix it? That's news to me. Last I heard you were still sticking your head in the sand over your mistakes.

Re:on behalf of america (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227641)

Courts don't pass laws

Re:on behalf of america (2, Insightful)

bucket_brigade (1079247) | about 2 months ago | (#47227807)

True, however, their verdicts can have influence over existing laws. If there are laws concerning treatment of disability in the workplace and some responsible body makes up a new disability it sort of is like passing a law.

This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 months ago | (#47227303)

Where's my tab?

Re:This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 months ago | (#47227309)

But I guess it isn't something that should be laughed at in general. Some people have thyroid conditions in that they can't really medically lose weight.

Re: This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227317)

you are obviously not a doctor. actual thyroid conditions can be treated with medication.

Re: This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (4, Funny)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 months ago | (#47227349)

I might not be a doctor, but I have watched Dr. Nick, and I think I've learned a thing or two over these years.

Re: This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47227367)

Of course, but the weight gained before it has actually been diagnosed and treated (which unfortunately can sometimes take many years before anyone realizes that a medical condition is actually responsible in the first place) remains... and will not go away, even after they start taking proper medication for it.

Re: This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227491)

wtf? you don't actually believe this, do you?

Re: This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47227557)

having witnessed this exact scenario happen in my own family, yes.

The medication stops the weight gain... but does absolutely nothing to help bring any weight already back under control as a fully functioning metabolism would.

Thyroid condition ? Doubtful. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227573)

Look, that would break the law of conservation of mass and energy. Thyroid condition or not, what mass you acquire can be in two form : water (the case of people having water retention) and real fat/muscle. In the first case there are rare people having such a problem. In the second case, this is bullshit that people cannot lose weight or avoid gaining it when they are aware of their condition. That mass is not coming from their "thyroid". It is coming from stuff they eat, and therefore limiting intake and practicing sport would fight the weight problem. Stating "I have a thyroid condition" is not an explanation of an obesity. In the very end you are still eating that mass and getting those calory from food.

Re:This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (2, Informative)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 months ago | (#47227333)

Unless you have chloroplasts, you totally can lose weight.

Re:This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47227379)

I expect that the population that's truly morbidly obese to the point that they need protection due to a medical condition that cannot be controlled is very, very small.

I don't think that in most cases being obese should be a protected category in the sense that an employer should be forced to purchase special furniture or to assign special parking. I say this as someone that isn't exactly tiny myself, but attempts to keep it under control. I'd argue that many such "protections" would actually be worse for the obese individual, rather than better. We've already seen lots of obese people abusing power-chairs and power-shopping-carts; we need people to put in more effort, not less.

If there are underlying medical reasons that should dictate special treatment, then it's those reasons that should give an obese person their special treatment, not the fact that they are obese.

Re:This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227511)

What about treating it as a lifestyle choice? Seriously. Even with the negative health aspects of being obese, what if someone chooses to be obese? Sometimes there are worse problems to worry about.

There probably is a line that when it becomes a disability, and that would be when someone needs assistance. An EXTREME case would be when someone is bid-ridden.

In any case, people, fat, thin or regular, should be treated with respect. That means not firing them for being fat for any reason.

If someone can perform the job with reasonable accommodations, then they deserve to keep their job.

Re:What about as a lifestyle choice? (-1, Troll)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 2 months ago | (#47227613)

Re:What about as a lifestyle choice?a lifestyle choice? Seriously. Even with the negative health aspects of being obese, what if someone chooses to be obese? Sometimes there are worse problems to worry about.

That makes it easy. We already make protected classes from lifestyle choices.

The lifestyle choice to get pregnant, the lifestyle choice to serve in the military, familial status, the lifestyle choice to be homosexual.

So sure! We absolutely could consider body weight a protected class.

Re:What about as a lifestyle choice? (1)

Andtalath (1074376) | about 2 months ago | (#47227737)

"the lifestyle choice to be homosexual."
You high?

Re:What about as a lifestyle choice? (-1, Troll)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 2 months ago | (#47227791)

"the lifestyle choice to be homosexual."

You high?

I'm not sure how to interpret that. Are you objecting, saying who you sleep with isn't a choice? Perhaps all homosexual are rape victims, even if they thought it was consentual adults out for a fun time? Or maybe it is genetic, some defect that needs to be cured?

Because if it is not a choice those are the options. Either the person makes a choice or they don't. You seem to suggest it is not a choice people can make. Somehow homosexual and bisexual people don't make a choice about their partners. DNA forces the choice of who we will have sex with, or other people force it on them. Nobody would ever choose a 3-way, and nobody would ever willingly choose to touch another person's naughty bits if they are the same gender... is that what you mean?

Sure, I do believe some people have same sex attraction because of DNA reasons. But the actions themselves are a lifestyle choice. Lots of people have homosexual relations because that is how the person wants to live their life.

Just like all the other items on the list, they are things people choose to do. People serve in the military as a choice. People get married and have children as a choice. People have sex with others as a choice. These choices are all legally protected under discrimination laws. Adding obese to the list doesn't seem extreme.

Re:What about as a lifestyle choice? (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47227815)

You seem to be confusing sexuality and sexual practice.

Re:This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (2)

complete loony (663508) | about 2 months ago | (#47227789)

So build an obstacle course between the special "obese people only" parking spaces and the front door...

Re:This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227387)

That; medically unavoidable obesity; would likely already be treated as a disability. This is demanding special extra rights for being lazy. Very unlikely and, Europe being mostly Democratic, very likely to lead to a change in the law if it does turn out to be the way things have been written.

Re:This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (3, Funny)

OhPlz (168413) | about 2 months ago | (#47227389)

Perhaps they should stop eating every thyroid they come across.

Re:This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227465)

Right, like my friend with the "thyroid condition".. she tried everything to lose weight except she wouldn't put down the Milk Duds or McDonald's or Cheetos. For every real thyroid condition there are 10k* fatties who do it to themselves.

*In America multiply by 60

Re:This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (4, Funny)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 2 months ago | (#47227515)

Right, like my friend with the "thyroid condition".. she tried everything to lose weight except she wouldn't put down the Milk Duds or McDonald's or Cheetos. For every real thyroid condition there are 10k* fatties who do it to themselves.

  *In America multiply by 60

Is that the conversion from metric?

What a joke. (-1, Troll)

grub (11606) | about 2 months ago | (#47227305)

In the olden days, they'd round them all up, lock them in a barn and set it on fire. Now it's a ~disability~.

The gravy train is only a supersized meal away!

Re:What a joke. (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 months ago | (#47227357)

Actually, in the olden days, they'd likely be the ones doing the rounding, locking and burning.

Historically, obesity was only a problem for the very well off.

Re:What a joke. (-1, Troll)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 2 months ago | (#47227623)

In the olden days, they'd round them all up, lock them in a barn and set it on fire.

Or harpoon them from ships and render their blubber for oil.

If the Europeans were sensible, they'd erect statues of Cap'n Ahab in every capital city, legalize chubby-hunting as a sustainable biofuel harvesting method, and watch with glee as a combination of terror fueled adrenaline and frantic waddling from danger shrunk the waistlines of all but the most irredeemable behemoths to non-disabling proportions. Better still, if manufacturers fitted the harpoons to cars, I have no doubt that the average Citroen, Peugeot, Fiat or small VW could be run for several weeks on the fruits of just one venture onto the streets of Brussels or any other large European city.

Citizens of the world, start petitions, start lobby groups. This needs to happen now, to save our environment and improve the scenery in our streets and supermarkets..

I suggest we send them to Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227315)

and have them harvested for their oil.

Save the Whales! Render the OBESE!

Re:I suggest we send them to Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227619)

in Japan, they eat the meat, don't harvest the oil.

Re:I suggest we send them to Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227701)

Shh!

Soylent

Green

It's pepple

I'm almost cool with this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227321)

as long as the legislation includes mandatory diet and exercise regime.

Re:I'm almost cool with this (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 months ago | (#47227347)

What? That would be against his human rights!

Re: I'm almost cool with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227421)

Yes, yes it would.

Another Case of Life Imitating The Simpsons (1)

theodp (442580) | about 2 months ago | (#47227327)

King-Size Homer [wikipedia.org] : In the episode, Homer despises the nuclear plant's new exercise program, and decides to gain 61 pounds (28 kg) in order to claim a disability and work at home.

Re:Another Case of Life Imitating The Simpsons (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 2 months ago | (#47227361)

I loved the part where he's on the scale, and needs another few ounces. He's holding a doughnut in his hand, but the dial doesn't move until he takes a bite. As if that alone changes the total weight on the scale.

Re:Another Case of Life Imitating The Simpsons (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 2 months ago | (#47227559)

It's the Simpsons. You know, where he puts cereal into a bowl, adds milk and it catches on fire. In a world where milk and cereal spontaneously combust, consumption of a donut most assuredly can cause an increase in weight.

Re:Another Case of Life Imitating The Simpsons (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 2 months ago | (#47227655)

Milk and cereal can spontaneously combust in this world too, if you enjoy the rich taste of potassium flakes.

Re:Another Case of Life Imitating The Simpsons (1)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 2 months ago | (#47227637)

It is a classic gag that predates the Simpsons. Classic Garfield cartoons used it, he measures 1 pound of lasagna, eats it, and the scale says he gained five. The joke probably dates back to the invention of the bathroom scale.

Thyroid problem (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227331)

The number of medical problems that actually cause obesity is very, very small.
The primary cause in 99.99% of cases is a higher intake of calories than output of calories as activity.
MD anonymous coward here, and sorry, that is how it is.

Re:Thyroid problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227509)

AND the vast majority of the 0.01% of medical obesity cases are present from childhood and due to obscure genetic causes. If you were "always" overweight and then ended up frankly obese while sitting on your arse all day at work then no, your obesity is not due to a "thyroid problem" or whatever the excuse of the day is. You simply consume more calories than you burn in a day.

Re:Thyroid problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227535)

That's OK, fat asses will claw at any excuse to be lazy. I'd hazard a guess that the folks on Slashdot claiming a thyroid condition causes obesity are all lazy fat asses.

IDIOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227649)

The number of medical problems that actually cause obesity is very, very small.
The primary cause in 99.99% of cases is a higher intake of calories than output of calories as activity.
MD anonymous coward here, and sorry, that is how it is.

Spoken like a true horse's behind that's never had a weight issue.

Do you have any idea how much energy is in food? If your body used all calories you input you would be fat as would everyone else. Different people's bodies metabolise food differently. That's why you can have someone who's had their stomach stapled and can't eat more than a plate's worth of food a day get fat. Also note that fat isn't just made of food. The air you breath and the water you take in also adds to the chemical process.

Re:IDIOT (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 months ago | (#47227821)

Yes, some people's metabolisms are more efficient than others', but not by an order of magnitude. But the fact remains: if you put on weight you're eating too much for you.

Re:Thyroid problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227745)

You are wrong for example, sleep apnea (1 in 4 americans have it and most are healthy normal weight individuals have some form of it.) can cause diabetes which in turn both can cause weight gain and mental health issues which in turn can cause weight issues. There are many medical conditions that can cause weight gain but the roots of the cause can be multiple medical and mental health conditions or start with a single medical condition. By the way sleep apnea throws all chemicals in the body into chaos depending on the severity affecting the persons mental health and variety of moods. OBESITY is not a simple problem, it is a complex one. Also did you know sugar an extremely common ingredient our foods is more addictive then cocaine as mentioned in several studies over the years, now try to quit eating all sugar based products from potatoes to celery? I am not saying it is an excuse to be obese, but weight gain is not an easy thing to manage either. And I know obese people who are extremely hard workers when compared to other lazy incompetent normal weight individuals.

Eat healthy anyone? (4, Insightful)

bsdhacker (1324585) | about 2 months ago | (#47227339)

If this goes through, they should mandate a strict diet of vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish and water for the duration of their benefits collection period. If this could somehow be enforced, very few of them would be on "disability" for long. By the same token, getting drunk should be considered for disability. The solution is simple. Stop eating processed garbage and eat lots of whole foods instead.

Re: Eat healthy anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227377)

Alcoholism is considered a disability in many countries already. Obesity due to a medical condition might be a disability, but just being a lard-ass should not.

Re:Eat healthy anyone? (1, Interesting)

Mr.CRC (2330444) | about 2 months ago | (#47227621)

Skip the whole grains. Carbs are the whole problem, and while whole grains may have more nutrition, they are still digested nearly as quickly as pure sugar. The resulting release of insulin causes the storage of fat AND the eventual depression of blood sugar which causes craving for food. After more than 30 years of struggling with waking up hungry at night, regardless of whether I ate a lot or little, after trying a ketogenic diet, I no longer get hunger pangs. Fat just melts away, without even trying or worrying about counting calories. I no longer suddenly step from fine to lightheaded and agonizing hunger pangs 2-3 hrs after every meal. Rather I just slowly start getting tired and a little weak.

Basically, modern medicine has pulled a fast one on the population, by selling the low-fat diet. It's false. And now it is embedded into government policy! The reason for obesity is carbs. People can't help themselves but to eat when faced with the intensity of cravings for food that high carb. low fat diets cause. The Drs. have caused the obesity epidemic with their attempts to prevent heart disease. http://www.biosciencetechnolog... [biosciencetechnology.com] http://online.wsj.com/news/art... [wsj.com]

Re:Eat healthy anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227733)

It's a shame nobody modded you up. That's the only truth. When I stopped eating carbs, my weight began to shrink, without effort.
Idiots of the world, enjoy your sodas, corn, sugar and syrup, and keep blaming the fat.

Re:Eat healthy anyone? (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 2 months ago | (#47227747)

Carbs create instant energy (for your brain, for example). So don't eliminate all carbs, just limit them, and eliminate the bad ones, like white bread.

while whole grains may have more nutrition, they are still digested nearly as quickly as pure sugar.

Refined flour (white bread) is digested quickly, whole wheat flour is not.

Come on, Kepler mission... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227343)

...we need a second sample, this one sucks!

Hmm (3, Interesting)

gerardrj (207690) | about 2 months ago | (#47227351)

So the people who could most use the exercise are going to have to walk the least.

I guess the overall plan makes sense; if you were to chop off your own leg you'd be considered disabled; I don't think the law makes any exceptions for self inflicted disability. It just seems wrong, though. Eat your way to not being able to fit in the office cubicle and your boss has to accommodate your mass by re-engineering the doors and floor to handle your breadth and heft.

Fast Food Advertising = Negligent Maiming? (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 months ago | (#47227363)

If obesity is a disability, and the legal definition of maiming is to disable or disfigure, will McDonald's advertising -- particularly when it materially misleads about health issues, like their Olympics sponsorship campaigns -- be ruled negligent maiming?

Not saying it should or shouldn't -- just raising the question.

Re:Fast Food Advertising = Negligent Maiming? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227419)

Fast food advertisements are not doctors. Anyone being misled by them on health issues is fucking retarded.

Re:Fast Food Advertising = Negligent Maiming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227563)

Thing is, many many people ARE "retarded" (as you so eloquently put it), and many many people ARE misled by them on health issues.

Obesity is the Epidemic Of Our Times (3, Interesting)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 2 months ago | (#47227375)

And governments should be looking for ways to curb/eliminate obesity (as incredibly hard as this is).

I expect governments to do the opposite, however, and not fight against obesity and instead grant it privledges (special park spaces, etc.) and such.

Bloomberg was one of the few politicians willing to stick his neck out and implement common sense reforms.

Obesity needs the treatment that smoking was given.

Re:Obesity is the Epidemic Of Our Times (4, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47227457)

Obesity needs the treatment that smoking was given.

You mean things like banning it on airplane flights, in restaurants, etc? Interesting idea... not sure how that'd work out though.

Re:Obesity is the Epidemic Of Our Times (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 2 months ago | (#47227507)

>You mean things like banning it on airplane flights, in restaurants

No, I mean very active efforts to slice and dice and causes and solutions and give those venues public funding and awareness campaigns and actually try to solve the problem.

"Smoking" got defeated through social awareness, anti-smoking campaigns, "stop smoking" programs, taxes, and tons of other efforts.

Today, efforts to curb obesity largely involves Michele Obama tinkering with school lunches --- which is a nice gesture, but is merely a gesture.

Re:Obesity is the Epidemic Of Our Times (1)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 2 months ago | (#47227651)

Today, efforts to curb obesity largely involves Michele Obama tinkering with school lunches --- which is a nice gesture, but is merely a gesture.

You mean that telling kids they are required to take a fruit with their lunch (which they throw it away) isn't going to reduce obesity?

Shocking. The plan was foolproof. The fruit industry said so.

Re:Obesity is the Epidemic Of Our Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227603)

Banning obesity in restaurants sounds like it could help a lot. Also banning it on cab rides shorter than 4 miles might work. Elevators should also be fat free zones. I mean, it might be a security issue. Only the veggie department should be allowed for fatties in grocery stores. And I'm not kidding. Please do something you disgusting lardasses.

Please make it a mental one (4, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 2 months ago | (#47227397)

Obesity is a mental disability, most often an addiction to a wrong diet containing many addictive ingredients.

The way most people feed themselves is by stuffing enormous amounts of carbs, often a lot of them sugars in their face. Combine those with a little fat and all your body does is store fat and try and balance the glucose content of your blood. The carbs make your gut bacteria generate "happy hormones" that get in your blood, making you hungry and cranky if you don't get your fix, whether your body actually needs food or not.

The symptoms of this addiction are obesity and diabetes type 2. Please treat it as an addiction, not as a phyisical disability. If you do that, for example being taller than 6ft5 should be treated as a disability too and be given all benefits that should come with such a status. If being a size that's outside of what society will cater for is a reason to call people disabled.

Tall people can't help being tall, fat people in over 95% of the cases can help it if they kick the habit. If you treat obesity as a physical disability, you are insulting everyone with a physical disability for which there is no cure.

Re:Please make it a mental one (5, Insightful)

Moof123 (1292134) | about 2 months ago | (#47227425)

How about we do something about it rather than blaming the ever increasing number of addicts?

Let's start by ending subsidies for corn syrup. Maybe use those funds to subsidize fruits and veggies? I would welcome the day when it is cheaper to eat a salad than make a box of Mac&Cheese, or to have an apple cost less than a hershey bar. OJ cheaper than Coke?

We have some really sick (in both senses) incentives that make it cheaper to eat delicious empty calories rather than healthy low calorie and high nutrient foods. Blaming folks who fall into this trap is cruel and unproductive.

Re:Please make it a mental one (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227487)

Who is "we?" I'm not obese. Nobody in my family is obese. My family does not manufacture nor sell food. Therefore, it is not my problem. I do not care if others are obese and die ae a result of their obesity. It is not my concern. You live your life your way, I'll live my life my way. There is no "we."

Re:Please make it a mental one (1)

Mr.CRC (2330444) | about 2 months ago | (#47227631)

An individualist stranded on planet Earth. Pity you.

Re:Please make it a mental one (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 months ago | (#47227555)

I am not obese, I appreciate all the cheap calories from corn syrup. Before corn subsidies there were wild price fluctuations in food, not just those that use sugar but also in alternate grains and in meat. It's good domestic policy. Why should stupid people who can't limit themselves force the US to cancel a policy that works well? Anyway, if it wasn't subsidized corn syrup, fatties would find some other cheap food to stuff their faces with, or would just pay the extra money.

Re:Please make it a mental one (1)

Splab (574204) | about 2 months ago | (#47227711)

The money saved on health care alone should be enough of an incentive, even for jerks like you, whom only care for yourself.

Re:Please make it a mental one (1)

DeathElk (883654) | about 2 months ago | (#47227577)

Hell, bottled water being cheaper than coke would be a better nutrition option. Shame about the waste plastic though.

Re:Please make it a mental one (1)

ranton (36917) | about 2 months ago | (#47227665)

Let's start by ending subsidies for corn syrup. Maybe use those funds to subsidize fruits and veggies? I would welcome the day when it is cheaper to eat a salad than make a box of Mac&Cheese, or to have an apple cost less than a hershey bar. OJ cheaper than Coke?

People keep parroting the idea that subsidies cause Skittles to be cheaper than grapes, but the reality does not match the hype. A 2009 study [wordpress.com] by Tufts University found that High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) "represents just 3.5% of the total cost of soft drink manufacturing as measured by the value of shipments. Meanwhile, the corn content of HFCS represents only 1.6% of this value. Thus, the impact of corn prices on the final retail price of a food product is not as high as one might think."

If the cost of the corn in your Coca Cola only makes up half a penny of the 30 cents you pay for it at the supermarket, then the subsidies are not making it less expensive than juice. And I assume the same goes for candy versus fruit and vegetables. The simple fact is that it is much cheaper to produce junk food than good food, and government subsidies have nothing to do with it. I would still love to see heavy subsidies for fruit and vegetables though.

Re:Please make it a mental one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227833)

What does any of that have to do with your point? In 2009 HFCS represent 3.5% of manufacturing cost, as you say, why does that disqualify other healthier sweeteners from costing far more?

"If the cost of the corn in your Coca Cola only makes up half a penny of the 30 cents you pay for it at the supermarket, then the subsidies are not making it less expensive than juice."

Firstly, the parent poster said lets start with ending subsidies, not that it is the one and only cause. Secondly, you failed to compare anything. Sugar costs more than HFCS. How much more? What would the end product cost be without that advantage?

"The simple fact is that it is much cheaper to produce junk food than good food"

Yes that was his point.

Re:Please make it a mental one (1, Flamebait)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 months ago | (#47227463)

So now being undisciplined is a mental disability. Give me a fucking break. 70 years and more ago, there weren't such a shitload of obese people. Then again their weren't Doritos, Cheezy Poofs, TVs, computers, or game consoles. Kids didn't automatically get cars when they were 16, and most people took the bus or walked. We don't change that much in such a relatively short evolutionary time. If there were a mental disability causing people to be fat now, it would have existing then. Lack of activity and too many calories is the cause, so stop making politically fucking correct excuses.

Food science + MBAs = profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227565)

70 years ago food science hardly even began. Today they are actually engineering food to lose it's taste as quick as possible so you eat FASTER. I'm NOT kidding! They are trying to get you to consume MORE and crave it so you buy more of it. They take stuff that basically tastes poor that you would never want to pay to eat... and they add salt because it masks it; really. See if you can read about people testing junk food like those cheese crackers WITHOUT the salt being added.

Life is easier. Society is socially engineered for maximum consumption and to make you feel good ALL the time. Even facts have now become opinions you can dismiss whenever they bother you! Google tells you what you like to see in the results... Everything is geared to making you a user; not a consumer but a user. (like software hooks you in... fitting they call their customers "users" too.)

It's all setup to get you hooked in 1 way or another and if you are lucky and never get started in the food aspect; then good for you-- but once you get in, it won't be easy. It is likely the non-fat people are being roped into something else if it is not food; but hey, why not feel good and ignore your problems by picking on some other people?

Re:Food science + MBAs = profit (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 months ago | (#47227755)

Everyone is responsible for what they eat. Stop fucking blaming everyone else if YOU decide to eat shit. Based on your logic, everyone would be hooked on heroin, but they aren't because people choose not to put shit in the blood stream. This should be no different for food.

Re:Please make it a mental one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227795)

To bad people like to moderate down truth.

Not sure that's the case. Changing environment ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227473)

Not sure it's entirely true that it's the individuals to blame.
A large part is changing lifestyles, it's really hard to get enough exercise in day to day life now, that's not just motivation, it used to be inevitable.

"When I was a kid":

10km walk or pushbike ride to school, every day.

I used to pushbike to work as well, but at least around here where the urban planners are car friendly, it's just too dangerous. I ride a motorbike, so I'll accept a certain amount of risk, but a pushbike is just insane. There are bike lanes, but token ones, not ones designed to allow large volumes of cyclists to get from A->B safely.

No usable stairs in buildings - fire stairs yes, but not ones you can walk up and down without setting off alarms.

A lot of little things have changed which make it easy to NOT get exercise.

Grow up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227657)

I can eat a very large bowl of salad and be hungry - as in EXTREMELY hungry - again in 20 minutes. That's not normal. People who eat too much often have a broken hunger drive. That's one reason long term weight loss through dieting is ineffective (something north of 90% put the weigth back on in 5-10 years if not sooner).

Re:Please make it a mental one (5, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | about 2 months ago | (#47227683)

I am tired of hearing this argument.

Getting in shape is not rocket science - all it takes is motivation, and persistence.

You think those of us who are fit enjoy eating salads? Do you really think I enjoy drinking water instead of soda? Or do you think we somehow magically like candy less than everyone else? We are still humans, and we crave the exact same things. A bag of Doritos and some beer look just as tempting to us as they look to you.

Getting in shape is almost entirely about dietary control. You even see it in the article, where the guy says that his company got him a gym membership. No, the solution is not a gym membership -- it is good diet.

And at the end of the day, diet is much easier than working out.

There is a reason people say that six pack abs are made in the kitchen. Every time I've had a six pack, it's been entirely because my diet has been in check. And when overeat, it doesn't matter how much or how hard I work out -- you cannot outrun a shitty diet.

Besides,someone who eats healthy and does not work out is often in better shape than someone who eats junk and "works out" for half hour a day. Most of those people just use their momentum to do some crazy exercises with piss poor forms, and eat unhealthy crap afterwards because they've worked out (think middle aged man with flabby biceps and a beer gut trying to bench press, when he probably has 50% body fat).

The solution to getting in shape is fairly simple. As long as you're in a caloric deficit, get enough protein (~1g/lb of lean body mass), and engage your muscles (I prefer to lift + rock climb + row), then you will shed the fat.

At the end of the day, it comes down to simple math. You just need to burn more than you eat. And often, it's just a lot easier to not eat that bag of chips or only eat a salad for lunch and dinner than, say, run it off.

For instance, a bag of Lays kettle chips is ~200 calories and a regular size chocolate chip cookie is ~180 calories. A bowl of Cap'n Crunch with skim milk? 300 calories. Add some sugar to that, and just having these will put you over 600 calories. That's ONE hour of running at 6mph.

Instead, you can have some egg whites and oatmeal for lunch, two salads, and perhaps some baked lean meat or seafood for lunch and save yourself a whole lot of calories.

This whole culture of saying that something is too difficult because it's an addition is nonsense. Whatever happened good old fashioned responsibility and personal accountability?

Re:Please make it a mental one (3, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | about 2 months ago | (#47227727)

Obesity is a mental disability, most often an addiction to a wrong diet containing many addictive ingredients.

The way most people feed themselves is by stuffing enormous amounts of carbs, often a lot of them sugars in their face. Combine those with a little fat and all your body does is store fat and try and balance the glucose content of your blood. The carbs make your gut bacteria generate "happy hormones" that get in your blood, making you hungry and cranky if you don't get your fix, whether your body actually needs food or not.

The symptoms of this addiction are obesity and diabetes type 2. Please treat it as an addiction, not as a phyisical disability. If you do that, for example being taller than 6ft5 should be treated as a disability too and be given all benefits that should come with such a status. If being a size that's outside of what society will cater for is a reason to call people disabled.

Tall people can't help being tall, fat people in over 95% of the cases can help it if they kick the habit. If you treat obesity as a physical disability, you are insulting everyone with a physical disability for which there is no cure.

If it's a mental condition it's one with a strong genetic component.

“Obesity is one of the strongest genetically influenced traits that we have,” says O'Rahilly. Classic twin studies in the 1980s and 1990s, which relied on pairs of identical and fraternal twins, suggest that 40–70% of variation in body size is due to genetic factors. [nature.com]

Mental health can be an issue, I know I put on ~5 kg over two years when dealing with depression, but fat-shaming has always struck me as a failure of theory of mind.

If you're thin it's convenient to assume that it's just a matter of your willpower, you eat healthy because you're disciplined, you eat less because you're responsible. But it's also possible that fatty sugary food is just that much more appealing to other people, that hunger is a much stronger force, that their metabolism is slower so they gain fat much more easily.

I don't dispute for a moment that any of them could lose weight if they tried hard enough. But some people have to try a heck of a lot harder than others.

wtf, dude? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47227401)

You weren't sacked because you were too fat.... you were given the reason for dismissal: shortage of work. Now you want to invent an excuse that has nothing whatsoever to do with anything? If you were my employee, I'd sack you for being an asshat with an overinflated sense of entitlement.

Frankly, I have a far bigger problem with this guy's attitude than I do with them considering obesity a disability... not that I think that is a good idea either.

Re:wtf, dude? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227693)

You weren't sacked because you were too fat.... you were given the reason for dismissal: shortage of work. Now you want to invent an excuse that has nothing whatsoever to do with anything? If you were my employee, I'd sack you for being an asshat with an overinflated sense of entitlement.

Frankly, I have a far bigger problem with this guy's attitude than I do with them considering obesity a disability... not that I think that is a good idea either.

Ssh! Europeans riot over things like Right to Work/"at will" employment. I mean, it's practically the only thing the French are willing to fight and not surrender about. Every few years you read about French mobs setting their cities ablaze because someone suggests allowing a limited form of at-will employment.

So bizarre.

Anyway, no, in Europe people treat their employment as some sort of god-given right, and it's nigh impossible to fire people. I would hate to try to start a business there. Can you imagine running a startup and immediately having employees with an entitlement complex regarding their job, demanding a "13th month" salary (which is an idea as retarded as daylight savings time and having an "employer-paid half" [*cough*] of SS/Medicare taxes), refusing to ever work more than 8 hours a day, etc?

Fuck that. I have been on both sides of the table (employee and business owner) of at-will employment, and I would not have it any other way. If I'm not treating my talented employees well, they will just leave my business for a better opportunity. If my employer/client isn't compensating me well enough, then I'm going to move on. Any other arrangement merely institutionalizes mediocrity, favors seniority over merit, etc. Blech.

Anyway, yes, fire the fat fuck if he isn't doing a good job or is an unpleasant jerk. I wouldn't fire a fat fuck simply for being fat, though... I care about quality of work rather than a person's physical appearance.

It is one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227407)

The concept of disability, at least in other cases, doesn't discriminate as to the cause -- if you shoot yourself in the head and end up permanently paralyzed instead of dead, you're considered disabled; if you accidentally lose an arm while working with a chainsaw, you're considered disabled; if you lose a foot to diabetes, you're considered disabled; if you have a bad reaction to a war you signed up for, you're considered disabled. In many cases, acute drug/alcohol treatment is considered to be an illness or disability if the issues are caused by the treatment rather than the addiction itself. In almost every other case, the definition of disability doesn't care if you did it to yourself or not. You are less abled than others due to a medical condition, therefore you're disabled. Why is this a special case?

Morbid obesity is a whole different beast (2)

Dorianny (1847922) | about 2 months ago | (#47227417)

I think they should clarify that they are talking about morbid obesity that servery impacts a persons ability to freely move about their surroundings. It is quite easy to became obese and a large portion of the population are obese, however few of them end up becoming morbidly obese no matter how poor their diet. The truth is that without additional risk factors, a medical condition such as hyperthyroidism, broken genes related to the normal function of appetite or a mental condition such as compulsive overeating disorder, it would be very hard for someone to reach the point where obesity is not just increasing their chances of a early death but also servery affects their mobility.

European Union? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227433)

there are fat people in Europe? I never noticed. United States of America, yes. My friends in the U.S.A. who look fine want to loose weight. Not trying to be mean, just stating my opinion.

full circle (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 2 months ago | (#47227471)

It all comes full circle. First black lung was a disability because once you get too old and too stupid to be a coal miner, they no longer want you in that profession. The very opposite is true of a judge. I guess now that they have gotten too fat and too stupid to ever be anything but judges, that must be considered a disability.

I'm so angry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227501)

NO! kill all the fatties.

Next up, being an idiot. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | about 2 months ago | (#47227519)

If it where a medical condition i could understand it, but it is mostly a problem of having the wrong style of life. Making bad decisions and being a lazy bastard makes you fat. The next logical step is to label being a complete idiot a disability (not low iq, just making bad horribly wrong decisions like turning up at work naked or sexually assault the photo copier etc.)

Re:Next up, being an idiot. (0)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 2 months ago | (#47227661)

If it where a medical condition i could understand it, but it is mostly a problem of having the wrong style of life.

Pregnancy is a lifestyle choice, and it is a protected status.

Family status including marriage and children are a lifestyle choice, and it is a protected status.

Choosing to be in the military is a lifestyle choice, and it is a protected status.

The gender of your sexual partners is a lifestyle choice, and it is a protected status.

All that maters is the ability to do the job.

So why not?

The only thing that should make a difference is your ability to do the job. Unless obesity has something to do with the job like fitting through manhole covers, I see no problem with making it protected.

Re:Next up, being an idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227703)

Pregnancy is a lifestyle choice, and it is a protected status.

And, that is why it shouldn't be. Just because a pair of breeders that hate gays decides to spew out another disgusting individual like themselves is no reason for us to give them buckets of cash. That is exactly what the Republicans have done. They get huge amounts of cash for that. It is simply gay bashing. That is the way of their kind.

Good job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227537)

That will kind of ensure nobody will hire fat people(being fat had nothing to do with it, he just wasn't what we were looking for, is anyone asks). Maybe they end up not having enough money to eat and then become thinner? Also, if there are special parking spaces they should be a copule of kilometers away to help in losing weight. Furniture adjustments could include replacing office chairs with crosstraining machines.

Why? (1)

tsotha (720379) | about 2 months ago | (#47227609)

It is seen as especially significant because of rising obesity levels in Europe and elsewhere, including the US.

Eh... no. This decision will have no effect on the US whatsoever. Or are you trying to say obesity in the US had some effect on the European decision? Either way, it's not relevant.

reserved parking? (1)

sedmonds (94908) | about 2 months ago | (#47227625)

Employers might in future have a duty to create reserved car parking spaces for obese staff

Reserved car spaces where, 3 miles away so they can't avoid a miniscule amount of exercise each day?

Don't hire fatties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227667)

In other words, don't hire fat people. The list of people likely to cause problems to a company is growing pretty fast.

NO. Horrible idea. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227681)

Coming from a big guy, I think this is a horrible idea. It's not a disability. M.R. is a disability. Quadriplegia is a disability. Not being able to pull away from the table shouldn't be a reason to get disabled parking spaces. They should put them at the FAR END of the lot so us big guys get some extra forced exercise. No one should have to adjust office furniture because I'm fat. You can only help people so much. You can't care about someone's healthy more than they do. If i'm fat, I'm fat. It's not like it's a surprise to me, and if my shirts cost extra because there's more fabric used, so be it. Don't cater to people because they're fat.

Re:NO. Horrible idea. (0)

Dorianny (1847922) | about 2 months ago | (#47227721)

Coming from a big guy, I think this is a horrible idea. It's not a disability. M.R. is a disability. Quadriplegia is a disability. Not being able to pull away from the table shouldn't be a reason to get disabled parking spaces. They should put them at the FAR END of the lot so us big guys get some extra forced exercise. No one should have to adjust office furniture because I'm fat. You can only help people so much. You can't care about someone's healthy more than they do. If i'm fat, I'm fat. It's not like it's a surprise to me, and if my shirts cost extra because there's more fabric used, so be it. Don't cater to people because they're fat.

Morbid obesity quire often leads to immobility due to difficulty walking or even getting up. Why should these people not be afforded the same rights as anyone else that has difficulty or is unable to move around. They did it to themselves you say? What about the Quadriplegics that are in that state because they were drunk-driving should they have their privileges revoked as well? What about the people that are morbidly obese due to a diagnosed medical condition, what about the ones that are not diagnosed yet? The slope gets very slippery very quick!

What's next. Can being an asshole be a disability? (1)

Rick in China (2934527) | about 2 months ago | (#47227831)

At least then when the smart enough people involved in the process to determine whether FAT PEOPLE are disabled and deserve protection, they can say "What the fuck is wrong with you" to their coworker or boss that proposed it - and not get fired for doing so.
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