Disability and Obesity

Obesity is a secondary condition that many people face when they are managing a disability. Obesity can occur as a result of a disability due to:  

 

• Medications being used to manage the condition  

• Lack of physical exercise or movement 

• Change in eating habits  

• Lack of availability of healthier foods  

• Lack of access to equipment or resources that can help with activities  

• Loss of energy levels from disability or medications  

• Pain associated with the medical condition  

 

Additional reasons for obesity occurring may include overeating from being bored when lifestyle changes arise from a new disability or genetic predisposition to being overweight.  

 

Helping Those with Disabilities Overcome Obesity  

 

There is so much more to being overweight than merely cutting back on caloric intake. While cutting back on how much or how often you eat is the best start to fighting obesity, other issues that must be addressed include:  

 

• Access to healthier foods  

• Availability of equipment to help with or encourage physical movement  

• Elimination of sugary drinks and increase of water intake  

• Change in snacking habits to eliminate processed foods  

• Possible change in medications, if possible, to prevent additional weight gain  

 

The Importance of Managing Weight  

 

Anyone experiencing a physical limitation from a disability already understands how quickly things can become complicated in their life. Simple tasks like slipping your socks on or trying to reach an item that fell on the floor can become nearly impossible to complete. Different types of disabilities may require different life-enhancement tools to help with daily needs.  

 

When you add the side effects of obesity, life can become even more complicated for someone who is disabled. Obesity can further limit mobility, cause a person to feel too tired to do anything physical, or create secondary disorders. Some medical conditions associated with obesity and lack of physical movement include:  

 

• High cholesterol and lipid disorders  

• Heart conditions  

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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).