We have an interesting proposal this morning. That obesity should become a protected status under the Disability Act and similar laws. To which we should say oooooh, yes puhleeeze! For if we were to do this then all of what is done to reduce obesity would become illegal, wouldn’t it?
Well, logically so, at least. Taxing sugar to stop people being obese would not be right if it were also true that being obese were a protected status against which we cannot and should not discriminate.
It’s also rather joyous the reason given that we might do this – so that the fattylardbuckets can take a later Tube, one that there’s room for them to get onto:
Obese workers should be allowed to start work late to avoid the rush-hour crush, a government adviser has said, and they should have the right to sue employers if they are not offered jobs or promotion because of their weight.
Prof Stephan Bevan, of the Institute for Employment Studies, said businesses should make more “accommodations” for workers carrying excess weight, adding it was time those suffering “functional impairment” were supported at work in the same way those with other health conditions might.
Critics called the idea “ridiculous”, with concessions for the obese likely to fuel resentment among fellow workers.
But speaking at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, Prof Bevan said the condition should be made a “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act.
Now, yes, it is of course ridiculous. But we should do it all the same. For I’d just love to see the logical knots people tie themselves into as they insist that we should tax food and not tax wheelchairs. That’s what protected status would mean, isn’t it?