Employee discount based on BMI?

On January 25, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

Okay.  Normally I don’t like to just point to other blogs, especially if I can’t confirm a source — but this.. this.. I can’t tell you what’s going through my head right now.  Actually I could, but I’m trying to refrain from the use of multiple four-letter words that young children really should not use and my Swedish cursing skills aren’t that good.

I’m going to summarize, then I’ll point you to the original blog post so you can read it there.

Basically, Whole Foods, if this is to be believed, and I really hope it’s a fabrication, is going to base their employee discount based on several “bio-markers” — one of which will be the oh-so-untrustworthy BMI.  Cause, you know, Brad Pitt is obese by that lovely scale.  Sorry, Brad, guess you won’t be getting the full 30% discount if you ever decide to start working for Whole Foods (well, that and I bet he smokes, which is another key for the full discount).

Fuming.  Yes, this may cause me to just become a Trader Joe’s and Earth Fare girl.


Read about it here.

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3 Responses to “Employee discount based on BMI?”

  1. MacMadame says:

    There are too many comments on that other site… so I’ll make mine here. :D

    I think programs like this are a bad idea. I don’t think they encourage people to get healthier, for one thing. Also, it’s a misuse of BMI to use it to diagnosis an individual’s health.

    My company has always done its health incentives in ways that made sense to me. We all get a $350 / year health bonus where we get reimbursed for various expenditures like gym membership, buying a bike or treadmill, etc. We also get bonuses for filling out health questionnaires and getting health screenings. But these programs are administered by third parties so there is no privacy issue.

    But then we got a note in the mail that this year at open enrollment everyone who doesn’t smoke will get a “discount” on their health insurance premiums. Even though they are trying to present it as a present to the healthy, it’s really a charge if you smoke. I don’t smoke, but I see it as a slippery slope. Next it will be weight and then it will be other health conditions. It completely undermines the entire concept of group health insurance where everyone’s insurance is cheaper because the risk of the group is what is charged for, not the risk of individuals.

    Yet another reason to get the hell out of there….

  2. Andrea says:

    Hubby’s health insurance gets a discount based on “health initiative” tiers. And amazingly they keep adding more and more tiers, and eventually they will turn to the spouses for the health initiatives. Already they have required the spouses to have bloodwork done, although no requirements yet.

    It’s only a matter of time…

  3. MacMadame says:

    I forgot to say that I also think that, even if you don’t disagree with a program like this on principle, that the way their program is set up is a joke.

    To be platinum you’r blood pressure has to be 110/70 or lower? There is no evidence that this is healthier than a blood pressure of 112/72. The same with their cholesterol numbers. Of which they don’t even consider HDL or triglycerides. There’s no evidence that someone with a 27.9 BMI is healthier than someone with a 29.9 BMI either.

    They are going way beyond what science tells us about health risk markers.

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