No Fatties?

In late June, Clarian Health, an Indianapolis-based hospital system
announced that starting in 2009, it will fine employees $10 per paycheck if their body mass index (BMI, a ratio of height to weight that measures body fat) is over 30. If their cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels are too high, they'll be charged $5 for each standard they don't meet. Ditto if they smoke: Starting next year, they'll be charged another $5 in each check.

Is this fair? Is this a good idea? Would it even make a difference to some people? Would you pay $10 a month to be fat?

They don't mention what the company will do with the fines, but I'd suggest taking that, adding some matching funds, and putting them toward health benefits for the employees, like a free stop smoking program, or discounts toward a health club.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Like carbon offsets only for fatties.

    The problem with BMI (and a health organization should know this) is that the index says nothing much at all about actual health. Some people such as myself are walking heart attacks while others with the same BMI can run for miles a day.

    I saw it on 60 Minutes a few years ago so I know it's true. They had a guy on there who regularly ran marathons, had a fantastic resting heart rate and a low BP. He was also shaped more or less like a potato.

    Well-intentioned idea; poor execution. They should at least have some other method of determining health so that athletic fatties (the exception, not the rule) could avoid the charge.