Big Brother vs. Healthcare


I’m about to be controversial.  I’ll say it up front and not hide from this fact.  But I have a concern.

In the quest to be lean, slim, svelte, perceived as acceptable what message are we sending?   I just read an article regarding Whole Foods Grocery Store’s new employee discount plan based on BMI and cholesterol levels.  That’s right folks, the lower your BMI the bigger your employee discount.

Your eyes do not deceive you.  There it is.

Many work places are asking the employee to actively seek to better their health.  It’s in the interest of the employee and the employer.  Healthier employee means less expensive health insurance premiums for the employer.  The tactics are much less intrusive.

But to come out and say that your BMI and healthy cholesterol levels will make you more elite than the other employees smacks of  profiling and discrimination. You’ll notice how carefully the company states that ‘Team Members who choose to participate, … are not taking away from Team Members who chose not too…” A lawyer made them do that.  I’m still not sure that a really good lawyer couldn’t take this apart and destroy Whole Foods.

Then there is the issue of Privacy.  While the company is saying thatthe privacy of your personal health information is important to us. It doesn’t say specifically that the information is HIPA guarded.  What is preventing the company from using this information in reviews, to determine advancement in the company.  What’s to prevent them from using separate services than your normal doctor to do the testing, then to do additional screenings for thing they might deems ‘at risk’ therefore non-employable?

Soon Whole Foods will only be staffed by svelte attractive clones who will sell you promises that will never deliver.  All because they can get a 30% employee discount based on their BMI.

Not all people are destined to be slim.  Nor have healthy cholesterol.  In fact, high cholesterol runs in my family.  It is often masked by low blood pressure.  How would the above policy work within the parameters of hereditary illnesses that can’t be controlled.  Or heaven forbid, an illness that causes the BMI and cholesterol levels to spike.

How would they enforce the membership levels.  Random BMI measurements? Or random Cholesterol screening?  Would Whole food absorb those costs? Or make the employee pay for those tests through their health insurance plans.  Which then becomes a viciousness cycle.  Because of the unnecessary testing driving up health care costs.

I’m all for being healthy.  I do my best eat a healthy diet, exercise and maintain my stress levels.  But I don’t need nor want my employer poking their nose so intimately into my personal life.

Big Brother watches me enough already, keep him out of my health!

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About Leila

I hail from the East and view the world as my playground. I'm opinionated. My dog is my co-pilot, but my cat navigates better. I'm only limited by my imagination. While there are terrible things that happen in the world I am responsible for making good things happen where I live, and that affects the world at large making it a better place.
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One Response to Big Brother vs. Healthcare

  1. Kat says:

    The day my employer rates me on my BMI, I quit – recession or not. Sure encourage me, free gym memberships, healthy food tips, but ban me from a discount that my svelt brotha is getting? NOT!

    Grrrrr……

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