CDC Shelves Workplace Obesity Website After Complaints


#1

After complaints from nutritionists and activists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken down a website that offered an “obesity cost calculator” to help American employers figure out financial losses linked to fat employees.

Called Lean Works!, the federal program drew recent criticism from some nutritionists and advocates for overweight Americans who claimed the site and its obesity calculator fueled workplace discrimination and perhaps even led some companies to fire fat people.


#2

Fat people do cost more. For example, I was in a plane seat and the fat person next to me was taking up my space and always poking me one way or another. Doesn’t it take more fuel and cost more to haul around a person of 350 pounds versus someone of 143 pounds?


#3

Fat people do cost more. For example, I was in a plane seat and the fat person next to me was taking up my space and always poking me one way or another. Doesn’t it take more fuel and cost more to haul around a person of 350 pounds versus someone of 143 pounds?

^ This. I’ve had so many flights where the person next to me overflowed significantly into my seat - to the extent that they were basically on top of me. :blush: If someone takes up two seats, s/he should pay for both.

But on a more serious note: people with serious health conditions are more costly than those without. I’m definitely less productive than I could be, due to my mental illness. New mothers are probably more costly than single women. Older employees are probably more prone to illness, breaking a bone from a fall, and so on.

I’m not saying that employers shouldn’t consider obesity a concern, but rather: Do you consider weight discrimination more “okay” than sex or age discrimination? :shrug:


#4

That doesn’t mean it’s ok to discriminate. We’re taking about employers calculating the relative “cost” of employees. Older employees cost more than younger ones. Younger women (child bearing age) cost more than men of the same age. Disabled employees or cancer survivors cost more than other employees without health conditions.

And a 350 pound worker who always exceeds expectations in job performance is going to cost the company less than a 143 pound employee that is just skating by.


#5

No, healthy folks cost more over the long term because they live longer and are far more likely to require extended care and costly operations in the later stages of life (knee and hip replacements etc.). Smokers and the morbidly obese tend to die much younger and cost less over their lifetimes.

Now, the issue for an employer are costs related to their working years. Do they take more time off beyond what the employer has factored in for standard sick days/leave and are they less productive while at work?


#6

This is a good point. an employer could choose not to hire employees that smoke. They are huge claimants as a populace and on and on it could go.
Mary


closed #7

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