EU Court to Judge on Weight

The subject of health is never far from the news. It is something that costs every country huge sums each year and there is constant debate about how to improve the nation’s health. A good balanced diet will certainly help everyone but no one can be forced to avoid the foods that taste nice but pile on the pounds. There is a case being considered at present in the EU’s top court which may result in obesity actually being regarded as a disability.



It results from a claim by a Danish childminder who claims that he was sacked for being too fat. He weighs 350 pounds (160 kg) which he puts down to bad habits, his diet, but he claims that it does not affect his ability to do his job. If the court rules in his favour, then the ruling will stand throughout the EU. There are serious implications because there is no doubt that more and more people in the developed world would be regarded as overweight by any measure you would like to take.

If the court decides that obesity is a disability, then there is a likelihood of those that suffer getting some preferential rights as a result. These may include special furniture and designated car parking spaces.


Mr. Kaltoft insists that he is perfectly mobile and can bend down without a problem contrary to his employers’ claim that he couldn’t bend to tie the children’s shoelaces. He feels that he has no problem sitting on the floor to play with the children. He doesn’t feel that he is disabled and hopes the court takes the view that it was wrong to sack him for the reasons given.

The Local Authority where Mr. Kaltoft worked has been asked if it helped him in any way and its response was that it had paid for him to go to a gym for 3 months. He had been employed by the local authorities for 15 years but the Authority had a decline in the number of children needing attention and hence decided to reduce staff levels.


He had done some weight training in those 3 months, but it needs a fair amount of self discipline to lose significant amounts of weight without a diet which includes protein foods such as egg white liquid rather than those full of calories that are difficult to burn off. There are companies such as www.proteinfoodsdirect.comthat specialise in providing food for those that want to get themselves in shape, not necessarily simply to diet, but also to improve their strength and fitness.

In Mr. Kaltoft’s case, he admits to having fallen into bad habits. Whatever the outcome of his case he should perhaps get into some good ones. Not just for employment reasons but also for his overall health and wellbeing.

Image courtesy of antpkr/