Obesity is Now a ‘Disease,’ AMA says; What’s That Mean for HR?

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in HR Soapbox

While Americans were snacking on funnel cakes at the county fair and drinking beer at the lake this summer, a piece of interesting news may have passed them by. The American Medical Association (AMA) officially designated obesity as a “disease”—instead of as a condition.

About one-third of Americans are classified as obese, on top of another one-third who are considered overweight. In just the past 15 years, the obesity rate in America has risen by almost 50%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The AMA’s designation does not carry any official change in the law or regulations. But experts say this could increase the likelihood that obese employees will be deemed “disabled” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was broadened just a few years ago.

And when employees or applicants are “disabled” under the ADA, employers are required to make “reasonable accommodations” for those people ...(register to read more)

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Darliene Howell August 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Companies interested in finding how to avoid size-related discriminatory practices can request a copy of NAAFA’s Size Diversity Toolkit by going to http://www.naafaonline.com/dev2/education/sizediversity.html

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