Statistics of Obesity and Your Social Security Disabilty Case

Apr 18, 2011 No Comments by

This article discusses statistics of obesity and how obesity is evaluated by the Social Security Administration in your disability case. Unlike many other impairments, there is not a listing for obesity (the listing for obesity was terminated by the SSA in 1999). Obese individuals can not be found disabled based on a diagnosis of obesity alone.

According to the statistics of obesity published by the Centers for Disease Control, 34% of U.S.  adults over the age of 20 were obese in 2008. Obesity can cause serious physical and mental health  problems.  Not everyone who is obese will develop other health problems, but obesity makes other health problems more likely to occur.

Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat. A person is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normal weight. The most common measure of obesity is the body mass index or BMI. A person is considered overweight if his or her BMI is between 25 and 29.9; a person is considered obese if his or her BMI is over 30.

via Obesity Facts, Causes, Emotional Aspects and When to Seek Help.

While there is no listing for obesity, the Social Security Administration can still find that obesity is a severe impairment and thus results in physical and/or mental restrictions on the individual. In addition, if the individual has developed other illness that are commonly associated with obesity (i.e. diabetes, hypertension and heart disease) those diseases may be found severe as well and may further illustrate the severity of the individual’s obesity.

The statistics of obesity show that one in three American adults were obese as of 2008. Its seems ironic that there is not a specific listing for obesity by the Social Security Administration. While there is no longer a listing for obesity, an individual’s limitations and restrictions from obesity will be evaluated in their social security disability case based on how the individual is affected.


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About the author

Kim obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her Law Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a strong advocate for the rights of the disabled and worked in the past for the North Carolina Department of Justice. She is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives. Kim is admitted to practice in the Eastern and Middle Districts of the United States District Court.