A top European Union court has ruled that obesity can be considered a disability in some cases, but it remains outside the realm of unlawful discrimination protection. The case stemmed from a complaint in a Danish court made by a man who said his weight contributed to his firing.
Obesity can count as a disability, according to the court ruling, if it impedes “full and effective participation in professional life,” according to the Associated Press. While obesity on its own will not be viewed as a disability and therefore is not covered by anti-discrimination laws, the EU court ruled that a “long-term impairment” brought on by obesity does fall under disability protections.
A journalist and filmmaker said in a column in The Washington Post on Thursday that morbid obesity “is often a disability, irrelevant of the cause.”