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EU court: Obesity 'could be a disability'

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled Thursday that obesity "could be a disability" in terms of legislation and workers' rights, the BBC reports.

The case was brought by Karsten Kaltoft, a Danish child-care worker who weighs more than 350 pounds. Kaltoft claims he was fired over his weight.

The judges in Thursday's ruling said that if obesity hindered "full and effective participation" in work activities, affected workers would be protected by disability legislation.

The ruling will apply across the EU, though it will be up to national courts to decide if the effects of individuals' obesity are enough to qualify as a disability. A Danish court will now be in charge of Kaltoft's case.

The ruling could mean that employers will need to provide larger seats and other assistance for obese workers.