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The Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEU) has decided that obesity in itself is not a disability. However, it can amount to a disability if it entails ‘a limitation which results in particular from long-term physical, mental or psychological impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder the full and effective participation of the person concerned in professional life on an equal basis with other workers’. This could be reduced mobility, or the onset of medical conditions preventing them from carrying out their work or causing discomfort when doing so.
It goes on to say that the concept of disability refers not only to the impossibility of exercising a professional activity but also to a hindrance to doing so.
It does not depend on the extent to which the person may or may not have contributed to the onset of their disability.
An employer will therefore have to make reasonable adjustments where appropriate for a worker if their obesity falls within the definition of disability.