Is being obese a civil right? | The Hoglawyer

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Is being obese a civil right?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 9:51 AM

One of my first posts I ever did on here was about whether obesity should be considered a disability. This inmate might not think he is disabled, but certainly believes not being allowed to maintain his obese status is cruel and unusual punishment.

I think he will have a hard time proving any type of damage except a constant craving for midnight snacks --  next post I'll do a quick review of the leeway that is given to jails and prisons in how they are allowed to treat prisoners.   If there is anyone who is not scared of being sued, it is the prison industry for sure.

300-pound inmate complains Ark. jail doesn't feed him well
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Apr 28, 5:06 PM (ET)

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - An inmate awaiting trial on a murder charge is suing the county, complaining he has lost more than 100 pounds because of the jailhouse menu.

Broderick Lloyd Laswell says he isn't happy that he's down to 308 pounds after eight months in the Benton County jail. He has filed a federal lawsuit complaining the jail doesn't provide inmates with enough food.

According to the suit, Laswell weighed 413 pounds when he was jailed in September. Police say he and a co-defendant fatally beat and stabbed a man, then set his home on fire.

"On several occasions I have started to do some exercising and my vision went blurry and I felt like I was going to pass out," Laswell wrote in his complaint. "About an hour after each meal my stomach starts to hurt and growl. I feel hungry again."

But Laswell then goes on to complain that he undertakes little vigorous activity.

"If we are in a small pod all day (and) do next to nothing for physical exercise, we should not lose weight," the suit says. "The only reason we lost weight in here is because we are literally being starved to death."

The suit also asks that the county be ordered to serve hot meals. The jail has served only cold food for years.

The meals, provided through Aramark Correctional Institution Services, average 3,000 calories a day, jail Capt. Hunter Petray told The Morning News of northwest Arkansas for a story Saturday.

A typical Western diet consists of 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day.

Laswell's suit was filed without a lawyer in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville.

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