The Official Newsletter of bodyfatguide.com
March 31, 2000

Is Obesity a Disability?

The press recently reported a story of an obese man who was awarded a court settlement over job dismissal. The court considered the man's obesity a disability. Many people feel this ruling sends a strong message that excess weight is beyond some people's control.

"Obesity may disable a person's work efficiency," comments Ron Brown, weight management expert and author of The Body Fat Guide ", but that doesn't mean obesity isn't preventable. People still have a responsibility to manage their weight properly. The fact that a court considers excess weight to be beyond an obese person's control is a sad commentary on how much our society lacks knowledge of basic weight management skills. Anyone who can manage to learn to drive a car can learn to manage their weight!"

So, why exactly are we so lacking in the skills to manage our weight? Brown blames our society's quick-fix loving attitude. He says, "This court's ruling is only one example out of many of how our quick-fix loving society actually discourages people from learning responsible weight management. People don't realize how much prejudice against weight management is built into their way of thinking by the quick-fix diet industry."

Brown provides an example to illustrate his point. "I once dropped my book off with a radio talk-show host a week before returning for my interview at his station. As we were going on the air, I asked him if he had looked at the book. He quickly thumbed through the book's body composition tables and replied while pushing the book away, 'I can't be bothered with all these numbers! I would rather stick to my high-protein diet."

"After I spent 10 minutes on the air explaining how quick-fix diet myths sabotage people's weight, the host was suddenly anxious for me to look up his body composition and energy balance numbers in my book, right on the air. I spent the rest of the hour-long interview looking up numbers from my book for people calling into the show. This host had started out with prejudices against weight management instilled in him by the quick-fix-diet industry, but he saw the light right in front of his audience."

Brown claims his job is to expose diet myths, teach people the principles of weight management, and show people how to apply those principles to their lives. "It's both a science and an art," he says. "I teach people the science and they practice doing the math until it becomes a new lifestyle habit. And when they complain that they are helpless to control their weight because of their genes, hormones, slow metabolism or whatever, I say, 'Show me the numbers!"

"Following the numbers in my book is the quickest, safest, easiest and least expensive way to permanently trim body fat and improve your body composition, without restricted foods, unbalanced diets, drugs, supplements, surgery or strenuous exercise. You wouldn't attempt to manage your finances without looking at the numbers. Why attempt to manage your weight that way?"

"Everyday I see well-mannered, well-dressed, educated, responsible, civic-minded people who successfully manage all sorts of life tasks, ranging from earning a salary to owning a home and raising a family. Yet, more than half of these people don't have a clue about how to manage their weight. If they could manage their weight by feel without using the numbers in my book, they would already be doing it."

 
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