State Fights For Protections For Americans With This Health Condition

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( – While Colorado has one of the lowest obesity rates in the nation, at only 25 percent, state lawmakers are still launching an effort to get protections from those suffering from obesity who are being discriminated against.

The Trust for America’s Health has noted that the obesity rate in the country is at 39.6 percent, almost double what it is in Colorado. This rate also places the U.S. among the highest obesity rates in developed nations.

State lawmakers in Colorado are not crafting two draft bills that will be examined in next year’s legislative session and would ban housing providers and employers from discriminating against others based on their weight. The bills would also make weight-based bullying in schools illegal.

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act bans all discrimination based on real or perceived physical impairments that could limit a person’s life activities. However, thus far judges have not been willing to consider obesity as one of the issues that should be considered as an impairment. The Yale Law Journal specifically noted that this is believed to be a “mutable trait” that could otherwise be prevented through changes to people’s diet and lifestyle.

In 2019, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that obesity was a disability, which led to workers receiving protection from discrimination. It also meant that workers needed accommodation. However, in June the Texas Supreme Court had ruled the exact opposite way, noting that morbid obesity “is not an impairment,” and that there was no evidence to suggest that it was the result of a “physiological disorder or condition.”

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