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Will the obese now qualify for handicapped license plates?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I posed this question on one of the threads. I was at the store yesterday and there was an enormous woman in one of the electric shopping carts. I did not look at what she had in her basket, but I thought that she was avoiding the one exercise available to all of us: walking.

The elderly do not qualify for handicapped plates because, the thinking goes, disability is just part of aging. Until the old person has a secondary handicap (which is common), she parks with everyone else.

One of the things I always do it park at the back of the lot (unless it's raining) and enjoy the walk in and out. Now that obesity is a disease, someone will sue one of the states to get handicapped plates, and get them. After that, there will be a LOT of handicapped plates out there. Will that mean parking lots will have to reserve half the lot as handicapped? Will the guy in the wheelchair van have to park beyond the obese? Will the obese get hangtags (which are usually given for injury and expire) or will they get plates, which are permanent?

Once the courts get hold of obesity as a disease, obesity will become an advantage to many people, giving them special treatment. I think we will see people GAINING weight in order to get the handicapped tags. A woman on the other thread said that her sister intentionally gained 50 pounds so that her insurance company would pay for bypass surgery. I don't think that is what anyone expected when insurance started paying for bypass surgery, but they should have. It's a whole lot easier to gain 50 pounds to get what you want than it is to lose them.

Parking at the back of a lot won't bother me at all, but it will bother mothers with vans full of kids, people like my husband walking much more slowly since his stroke (we had a handicapped tag when he was wheelchair bound, but he was expected to walk when he got out of it). All those people out there looking for the easy way to lose weight will jump at the chance to have an advantage to being overweight, even though it will kill them, just the opposite of what I believe is intended.

We'll see.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I literally cringe when I see the individuals who are in these motorized shopping carts. In the Northwest where I live, these carts are usually in pairs and sadly to say, filled with younger people....parents and children that are also morbidly obese. I park far far away from the store and other cars...I have a new I really enjoy the exercise.

    The Scooter Store commercials makes me angry. It is an encouragement to get a motorized chair rather than exercise...and let Medicare/Medicaid pay for it. It simply reflects the ill health of our citizens. You are what you eat really has credibility. Healthy diet with healthy living allows us to age gracefully and joyfully. I am 67 and really enjoy being the grandmother of almost (December 5) 13 grandchildren.

    I take do zumba, hip hop abs, walking, biking, and swimming. This beats jumping onto a motorized shopping cart and expecting the store to provide ambulatory equipment for my shopping needs!

    I volunteer in a nursing home where real disability is prevalent. Walkers and wheenchairs do make the residents mobile....this is so different from the abuse of motorized equipmeny by morbidly obese individuals.

    A friend of mine recently handed a panhandler....they are big in our area...a job application instead of money. I think a diet plan and a list of exercise classes would be more beneficial than instant mobility. To support obesity with readily available motorized vehicles sends the wrong message. Besides, I have almost been hit several times by inept drivers while shopping at WalMart!

    This is a great blog. Thanks for sharing. emoticon
    1664 days ago
    For the moment I have a very hard time to walk from the back of the parking lot into the store - the exercise I can do without "paying" for it with much pain, is biking and swimming.
    Of course it´s my own fault and if it makes it better for you, yes, I am ashamed.

    I really dread the day when I qualify for parking at the disables space, I am struggling to change because the "convenience" of a parking permit would be far outnumbered of all the inconvenience that comes with qualifying for that license.
    1666 days ago
    Your blog made me smile. My question is now that obesity is a disease will weight loss advice (such as Spark) now require a medical license since treating the "disease" could be classified as "practicing medicine without a license."

    Obesity is more a handicap than a disease, but then 1/3 of the population would need handicapped stickers. At the rate we are going, stores will need more handicapped spaces than regular ones.
    1669 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/26/2013 12:12:11 PM
  • 62NVON
    I enjoyed this blog entry very much as well as the comments. I really have nothing to add, because you have expressed it so eloquently. Thank you.
    1669 days ago
    Very thought provoking - both the blog and the comments. I also had an experience like yours yesterday, Nell. I had parked farther from Wegman's than I needed to, because I like to park near a cart-return shelter and because I wanted the extra steps. As I entered the store an obese man was struggling to get his store-provided scooter-cart unplugged, and inside the store an even larger woman had another motorized cart. At the time, I wondered which came first, the weight or the disability that made it impossible to walk through the store pushing a cart or carrying a hand basket? I also wondered what the invisible disability was...heart problems? Degenerative disk disease? Excruciatingly painful hips or knees? And back to which came first, the weight or the disability. Then I offered a prayer of thanks that I had two healthy legs to walk.
    1669 days ago
    I doubt that obesity will become a disability. Hypertension and diabetes are diseases not disabilities and do not qualify for parking permits. I think the point the AMA was trying to make is that obesity needs to be taken seriously, like hypertension and diabetes.

    But it always bothers me also to see some morbidly obese people and the choices that they make.
    1669 days ago
    obersity is not a disease there may be other factors why one cant lose weight but its not valid
    1669 days ago
    My take is that obesity is NOT a disease. But, there are some factors that cause people to be unable to adhere to a diet or gain control. I remember many many times of binging and crying and then being sick because I ate too much, beating myself up, promising myself I would never do it again and then the next day I repeated that horrible experience again. THAT is not normal! A disease? Maybe, maybe not, but a mental or emotional issue I definitely would support!!! Maybe 'they' don't know what else to call it, but if it helps people like I was I would consider calling it anything!?

    I think many people are looking for an easy way out, but not all of us fatties or former fatties really wanted to be fat or knew how to get and stay in control of their eating. Some of us were fat before we even knew what it meant and never knowing what normal really is. Not everyone wants surgery, but there were times I thought that was the only way for me. In the end, I lost weight the old fashion, healthy way--diet and exercise.

    Could obesity be a disease of the mind (for some, not all)? More times than I can remember, I would have begged for ANY intervention that would help me get on track AND stay there. I envisioned 'fat camp', padlocks on the fridge, padlocks on me, I dreamed about having a personal trainer, even surgery . . .anything for help. I just didn't have the mental or emotional tools to make it work.

    For this reason, I am glad for the deeper involvement to make obesity a more recognized and treatable 'condition' WITHOUT condemnation--but not necessarily a disease.

    On the other hand, I believe places like SP have gone above and beyond in offering education and support to help people like me and the best part is 'I can afford it'.

    Before I lost weight I could barely walk from the car to the store before I needed relief for a pain in my hip. Did I ask for or want handicapped plates? NO! A wheelchair? Not yet! But, what if! What if I didn't get things under control? What if I was still as fat as I was two years ago and even more debilitated? I might feel as though I had no other choice than to get handicap privileges--not for obesity, but for being unable to walk--due to obesity.

    Some people really do need help!!! There are those who are lazy, lax, or just don't want to do the work of getting in shape, (sometimes THAT is part of the mental/emotional deficit that many overweight people struggle with) but there are some of us who are just unequipped to do it on our own and need help.

    There are many who will take advantage and abuse the system, which means the lawmakers/medical advisors should have rules and guidelines as to who will qualify. I also think that some sort of educational requirement or program should be put in place before someone is just handed a handicap label at a doctor's office. Fat people need help, not an excuse to stay fat.

    1670 days ago
    Sadly, that woman and many other morbidly obese people probably do have secondary disabilities. Just as obituaries now say "causes incident to age" might they someday say "causes incident to weight."

    P.S. But I think you can get a cart at the store for the asking.
    1670 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/25/2013 7:20:21 PM
    Unless the is a medical cause for weight gain that I'm not aware of, obesity is not a disease. It may be that there are factors involved that stem from a disease, but not just being obese.

    1670 days ago
    This is such a sad situation. Enabling people to become obese is not the way it should be. There is always some people who turn things around to get what they want. I like you blog.
    1670 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Another great blog, Nell! I even sent it to my Pastor's wife who loved it too! Every word you said here is so true. And it's all about the entitlement "industry" something for nothing. I never would have believed I'd be living in days like this. No one does anything anymore except "collect". So sad. I do agree with DSCROW that they will probably "exclude the services like they do the elderly" I wish someone would either wake people up to reality or wake me up and tell me it is all a bad dream....
    Thanks for another great blog! Blessings to you!

    I forgot to tell you that John and I also park as far away from everything as we can for the walking too!
    1670 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/25/2013 1:14:28 PM
  • JEANNE229
    I have said this for years! Walking is the MAIN "cure" for the "disease". There may be some who become obese BECAUSE of an underlying malady, but I think this is more rare than people claim. No one wants to be fat, but on the other hand, few do anything positive to "cure" it. One big CURE, then, may well be forcing walking from the far end of the lot.
    1670 days ago
    well half the parking lot would need to be for obese parking
    1670 days ago
    I really liked your blog... hadn't heard about that before. But, I think if they were to do something like that, it's enabling and a crutch into not losing the weight. Too many people nowadays think about the easy way in everything. I, personally, do the same thing as you.. park far (mainly because I don't want anyone parking next to my truck lol) and it is nice getting a little more 'steps' in for the day. As far as the part about obesity being a disease... I think it's not. Unless you have major thyroid issues or whatnot, but it's choices that we make. My highest weight was 240 (whoa...) but, that was totally on choice. My choices that I make now affect if I get bigger or not... which is how people should view things. Life is full of choices. I'm so tired of hearing about people suing for stupid things... there is sooo much more to life than worrying about getting a handicap sticker for your license plate cause your butt couldn't get up and make better choices.. ugh. Oh well... it's only going to get worse lol. Hope you have a great day and thanks for bloggin!!!
    1670 days ago
    I too am watching to see what the outcome of this new medical condition will be. Will it make it easier to get surgery if you are a candidate? Will their be more tags? Will Obama require weight loss programs to get services or will they simply exclude services like they are the elderly. I agree it is a disease but what does that really mean? .... Time will tell and like you I am watching and waiting to see.
    1670 days ago
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