Whole Lotta Crazy at Whole Foods

I’m guessing a lot of you have already heard about the new employee discount policy at Whole Foods. For those of you who missed it, it’s a hot mess of ugly.

See, the basic employee discount at Whole Foods is 20%. So far, so good. The problem is that there are variations. They aren’t based on seniority or title. Mind you, I wouldn’t be in favor of variations then, either, but at least it has something to do with performance. No, the variations are based on BMI.

That’s right, the lower the BMI measure, the higher the employee discount. Under the scheme employees with a BMI of 28 – 29.9 will get an employee discount of 22%. A BMI of 26 – 28.9 will get employees a discount of 25%. A 24 – 25.9 BMI means they get a discount of 27%. And anyone managing a BMI below 24 (no lower limit on that measure, either) gets a whopping 30% employee discount. Oh, and they also have to meet healthy measures of blood pressure and cholesterol and not use nicotine products to qualify for the additional discounts.

Of these questions, only one is entirely in the control of the employee. The use of nicotine products is a choice. Frankly, I think it’s a choice that is none of the employer’s darn business, but the fact remains that it is something the individual can choose to do or not. In many if not most cases, blood pressure and cholesterol counts are strongly effected by heredity. As for the BMI, well, one look at Kate Harding’s brilliant BMI Project puts it into perspective, as does the fact that Johnny Depp is overweight, according to his BMI. That’s right, Johnny Depp is overweight.

johnny_depp

Let’s just let that sink in a minute……..annnnd we’re back. No discount for Johnny, the flabby fatso!

But even assuming that weight is entirely under the control of the individual, the fact remains that while genetics are the overwhelming predictor of  weight range, poverty is also a better than average indicator of likelihood of a higher body weight. One reason for this is the fact that poor people often can’t afford things like fruits and vegetables and lean meats. Why? Because these foods are more expensive. So Whole Foods CEO John Mackey thinks that people who weigh more need less money to spend on healthful, nutritionally dense foods so that they’ll lose weight.

Look, I don’t know how much the average checker or produce person makes at Whole Foods. I’m not assuming they’re living in abject poverty, but I doubt they’re exactly rolling in moolah, either. And Whole Foods isn’t called ‘Whole Paycheck’ by a lot of people for no reason.

More than that, though, this policy is bad because it discriminates based on things that have nothing whatsoever to do with job performance. A couple ounces of muscle or fat can make the difference between a BMI of 29.9 and one of 30. Muscle weighs more than fat. In fact, virtually the entire NBA is obese to morbidly obese without being fat at all. Are you really going to tell me that a grocery bagger who is into body building is less physically fit than one who has less muscle on his body and thus has a lower BMI? Are you going to try to tell me that one is better at his job than the other based on body type more than an understanding that the eggs go at the top of the bag?

Base any extra employee perks on job performance, Mr. Mackey.

Oh, and until you decide to do that? Suck it.

If you would like to invite Mr. Mackey to suck it, here’s the address:

John Mackey, CEO
Whole Foods Market, Inc.
550 Bowie Street
Austin, TX 78703-4644

37 Responses to “Whole Lotta Crazy at Whole Foods”

  1. ChaChaHeels January 31, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    I hadn’t heard about this new employee “discount” policy, but I’m not very impressed with Whole Foods for a bunch of reasons. Up until now, most of those reasons had to do with the way this company co-opted the entire real food/slow food/local foods/sustainable business “movement”, way back when (and actually put a lot of community created co-ops out of business by “competing” with them and making real food a whole lot more expensive as a result). But this is just thinly veiled discrimination propped up by pseudo science, not to mention yet another example of the famous WF cheapness regarding fair pay.

    Writing to the CEO is a good idea, but really, we can all do better than Whole Foods wherever we are. Seek out (or even help create) a real co-op in your area, support local CSAs and other local farmers (not big disguised factory farms who claim to produce “free range/organic” meats, but don’t really) who farm using sustainable practices, support a local baker or small “ethnic” grocer in your area (who will often carry exactly the same imported items WF does–at a fraction of what WF will charge for) and don’t look back. The food will be just as good, your money will actually stay in your neighbourhood and support local businesses, workers, and growers, and you’ll be a lot wealthier socially, financially, and healthwise in the long run.

  2. frustrated January 31, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    um, no the use of nicotine is not a choice for all of us. I am on doctor prescribed nicotine, and not because I am trying to stop a nicotine addiction. There are a few diseases that are helped by nicotine, though we have only studied addiction to it. If one of your siblings gets Altzheimer’s you may be told to start taking nicotine, since it seems to protect against the disease. There are other diseases where patients benefit from taking nicotine. If we can get past this idea where it is only a bad drug people with Parkinson’s disease might find themselves with a new, inexpensive and effective treatment.

    And as another irony, people who are overweight live longer. Hmm. Maybe that thin thing is a fashion fad. Maybe things aren’t all black and white.

    It seems that both of the these “evils” Mr. Mackey is protecting his employees from are things he doesn’t do, and that probably makes him feel morally superior. there is no evidence these employer mandated wellness programs do anything but make the companies running them rich. they don’t save the original companies any money at all.

    Isn’t it wonderful to have a socially acceptable reason to beat someone else up? It makes one feel so morally superior.

  3. Plumcake January 31, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    I’ve known John socially for years. He’s a tool. He’s always been a tool and he’ll always be a tool. Let him have it!

  4. Eric R Roberts January 31, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    Keep in mind that the CEO also spoke out against Health Care Reform… Frustrated, he is not looking out for his employees…he is looking out for his health care costs. If he can find a way to make his employees healthier, then health care costs for the company.

    The problem is that this is in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act because there are people that are overweight because of diseases and disorders…not just because they eat too much. They would be covered under this and thus this policy would be an ADA violation. I hope someone sues the shit of them.

  5. Mimi Stratton January 31, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    I thought John Mackey resigned from WF? See http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2009/12/26/Mackey-resigns-as-Whole-Foods-chairman/UPI-41171261857943/

    Not sure when it takes effect, and the article does say he intends to stay on the WF Board.

    I stopped shopping at WF when Mackey came out against healthcare reform. He sees no reason for it. Everything is just fine. He has his own healthcare; why worry? I do not want to support anyone who advocates keeping healthcare access away for millions of Americans. I found great healthy brands at Giant for much cheaper prices. Have not missed WF at all.

    If I was CEO, the aforementioned employee incentive program would not be my first step. For one thing, it’s divisive if not administered fairly. I would provide discounts for fitness centers, or have them onsite.

    Plumcake, you know Mackey socially? How cool are you, girl? Is there no one you don’t know? Your opinion of him confirms my own impressions, granted, tho that was informed only by seeing him on TV or on blog videos.

  6. La Petite Acadienne January 31, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    Yeah, I can hear the lawyers rubbing their hands together with glee from here.

  7. Grace January 31, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    The concept of giving employees a discount if they meet certain lifestyle or health goals is not necessarily a bad thing, but the WF proposal lets BMI trump everything else. An employee can have great cholesterol, not smoke, and have low blood pressure, but a BMI that is too high means that the employee gets no additional discount. I generally don’t shop at WF (I’m more a Trader Joe’s shopper), but if this goes forward, they’ve lost me for good. They’re not going to change this policy unless customers stay away, or they lose enough lawsuits on ADA grounds.

    In contrast to the WF proposition, my employer is trying to encourage healthier employees by having us enroll in a charity walking program – they are sponsoring the costs to join, and there is no pressure on whether or not we actually join. I will probably sign up, because it’s a good workout, and a challenge to follow the program for a few months. I am very goal oriented when it comes to excercise, and I know that I have worked out more when I am training for a marathon or another specific event. Just going to the gym for a “regular” work out – not so much.

  8. The gold digger January 31, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    So how do they administer this program? Does the cashier eyeball you when you check out? Or do you get your BMI done in the back room and get an official BMI card? What if you lose weight? Gain weight? How often will they allow you to change your official BMI discount rate?

    How do they know who smokes and who doesn’t? My card-carrying liberal husband’s smoking is a deep, dark secret that his tolerant liberal friends are not allowed to know about because they would torment him to no end. He smokes little enough that it didn’t show up in his life insurance physical, but he does smoke a few cigarettes a week. (Yes, we answered that he is a smoker on the questionnaire. I see no reason to commit fraud on an insurance application.) Is he a smoker by Whole Foods standards? Are they going to test or just go by the honor system?

  9. Melissa January 31, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    OK. Whole Foods is officially on the Suck It list.

    PS – thanks for the gratuitous nakedness of the divine Mr. Depp.

  10. Rosa January 31, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    Has this policy been legally challenged? It seems to run afoul of many anti-discrimination protections – given that most of the cashiers in my NYC-based WF are female and of color, at the very least this policy would fail on a disparate impact basis in terms of financial benefits. Though in recessions it is obviously much more difficult for employees to come forward as plaintiffs. And of course, given that WF is virulently anti-union, the employees are unable effectively to request or implement a fair and uniform discount policy (and arguably other policies as well – I’ve yet to meet a female manager at the store.)

  11. KESW January 31, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    Ugh, one more reason that I hate hate hate the BMI system. I married into a family of tall, broad men, who are continually being bombarded (military weight requirements) with the idea that they are obese, when they are nothing of the sort. Men are just as susceptible to low body image as women, and it breaks my heart to see my husband’s struggle with it. Banish the BMI, I say, and make skin-fold tests a more common (and much more accurate) sign of a healthy weight.

  12. zuzu January 31, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    I stopped shopping there after the op-ed Mackey wrote about health care, with the exception of a couple of items I couldn’t find elsewhere for cheaper or at all. But after this, Whole Foods is dead to me.

    Something else to consider: with the new Citizens United decision, your Whole Foods shopping dollars might be going to fund candidates who want to prevent everyone from getting health care, or to fund issue ads doing scaremongering. It was one thing to shop for those few items when it was just Mackey’s personal opinion; now the company can use its corporate treasury to fund his Randian fantasies. No, thanks.

    Also, Twistie: I’m so glad you pointed out how illogical this “discount” is; if Mackey believes what he wrote in that op-ed, that if only people ate food from his stores they wouldn’t need to spend money on health care because they’d be all healthy ‘n’ shit, then it would seem like a good idea to give a higher discount to the “unhealthy” employees.

    Unless of course he doesn’t *actually* believe what he wrote, and he just doesn’t want to have to pay for his employees’ health care, or anyone else’s.

  13. Chelsea February 1, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    The purpose of employer policies like this one (and Whole Foods is just one in a line of companies with similar policies) is to lower the cost of Health Insurance by promoting good health. Everyone gets the 20% discount, right? HOWEVER, if you have good health (judged by not smoking, low cholesterol, and low BMI, which I can admit is perhaps not the most accurate judgement of health) you are rewarded with an incentive. I think the idea behind this is good. No one is being punished for bad health, they are instead rewarded for extra good health. Where Whole Foods goes wrong is in their system of judgement. A local company to where I live has a similar policy that I believe handles the situation better. All employees have a certain benefits package. Any employee who wants a better package (more time off, no copays on insurance, no premiums, and other incentives) signs up for the Get Fit program. They are examined by a Doctor who determines their level of health. The Doctor puts them on a plan and the employee revisits the Doctor monthly (actually the Doctor comes to the office to see all employees so that they do not have to make the monthly trip). As long as the employee makes their monthly goals, they receive the incentive. In this case, a Doctor decides if a BMI is healthy or not, instead of setting arbitrary goals. I applaud Whole Foods on their end goal, to have healthier employees, but they are going about it in the totally wrong way.

  14. Jane February 1, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Way to reward eating disorders, guys! Of course, if you’re anorexic, you don’t need to buy food anyway…

  15. Mrs. Hendricks February 1, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Chelsea, it is either incredibly charitable or incredibly naive to think that the goal of Whole Foods Market’s new incentive program is to have healthier employees. It is to reduce their health care/insurance costs, nothing more. Health insurance costs are usually reduced by removing those inconvenient “sick” people from the pool.

    Twistie, I’m sending a delightful assortment of snide, funny postcards to Mr. Mackey. Thanks for his address.

  16. Nan February 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Chelsea–nice thought, but it’s discriminatory. People who have disabilities, or health problems that preclude a “get fit” program can’t participate, so they’d be punished for things that more than likely are not their fault. We all have a right to work and earn a living and to have benefits applied justly across the board.

    Nice idea, but once again something like this just points out the elitist attitude Americans have come to accept as the status quo. I’m all for people being healthy, but there are other ways to achieve it, even including some sort of incentive program for getting fit; but it should be outside the normal benefits package and should not monetarily punish those who cannot (or even don’t want to) participate.

  17. Abby February 1, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    To say nothing of the privacy concerns. I wouldn’t want my fellow employees knowing my “health score” or whatever shaming BS they’re calling it and the cashier ringing up an employee sale could certainly tell this based on the discount. If Mackey really gave a damn he’d offer discounts on gym memberships, bigger discounts for ALL employees on more nutritionally dense foods, stress relieving workshops, etc. etc. etc. This is just more obesity hate and a lawsuit waiting to happen. Sometimes I love me some lawyers.

  18. marvel February 1, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Everyone here going off on Mackey for the anti-HCR op-ed:

    Just what do you think would happen if the current HCR proprosals make it through to law and the federal government ran the whole health care system? You think it’s awful that Whole Foods uses its employee discount program to promote what current medical practices preach as a “healthy lifestyle?” What do you think would happen if the federal government paid for all health care and brought the full weight of the federal government to enforce “healthy choices?” (And yes, the ultimate endpoint of the current HCR bills is to drive us to a system in which the federal government subsidizes and thereby regulates most, if not all, health care plans.)

    See, for instance, here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-459574/Smokers-told-quit-surgery-refused.html

    You really want a national health care system that would deny care for people who don’t meet a checklist of “healthy behaviors?” Really?

    At least now you have the option to shop elsewhere (I would include “work elsewhere” but the 10% unemployment rate makes that a bit of a challenge). When the government owns your health care, they will own you.

  19. Abby February 1, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    @marvel – my understanding is that WF uses a very high deductible health care plan for their employees. Fine and dandy if your employees happen to fit the young demographic that Whole Foods’ work force – probably by design – is. I rarely see an employee there over 40. Yay Mackey ain’t you smart! Now if only we could get rid of all those pesky old people nationally we’d be somewhere!

    Furthermore, what do you think happens now with private insurance? Pre-existing conditions? Hello? People are denied coverage constantly and there are NO VIABLE OPTIONS. Quit smoking the Milton Friedman crack pipe.

  20. wicket1 February 1, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    Marvel you are so right about national healthcare regulations. We are all screwed if we don’t fit into the government’s opinion of “healthy”. Wake up people.

  21. marvel February 1, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    @Abby–I wasn’t aware that the current House/Senate HCRs and the “Milton Friedman crack pipe” were the only choices.

    I agree that our current system is woefully inadequate in many respects and in need of reform (and I thought that I had added that caveat in my original post, but I see now that I did not). My last 2 employers have been able to offer reasonable health insurance (PPO, HMO, HDHP, your choice) to all employees, regardless of preexisting conditions, because they are large enough to generate a decent size “risk-pool” or whatever the jargon is. The fact that only employers can form bargaining units large enough to pool risks is silly–why can’t other large groups of people form risk pools that can then purchase health insurance? Or why can’t lots of smaller employers easily band together to form risk pools? So I agree, the current system is not fair to those with pre-existing conditions. And I think that there will always be a role for government support for elderly and at risk populations. Somewhere out there is a mixed market/government subsidy solution that ought to work for a majority of the population without having to centralize medical decision-making in DC. But that discussion is beyond the scope of this thread, which is Mackey-bashing for weight-based employee discounts.

  22. zuzu February 2, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    Just what do you think would happen if the current HCR proprosals make it through to law and the federal government ran the whole health care system?

    Actually, in the current proposals, there’s precious little government-run healthcare to be had. We can’t even get a public option, and both parties have been tripping over each other to see who can throw women under the bus first and more thoroughly.

    However, we do happen to have examples of both government-paid and government-run healthcare, right here in the US! Medicare is a privately-provided, government-paid healthcare system which works very, very well. It has a certain amount of cost involved, because it involves the sickest people (the elderly and some permanently disabled people). If we put everyone on Medicare, our health-care costs would go way, way down. Even with the fat people included!

    Government-run healthcare? The Veteran’s Administration system is completely government-run, and it’s damn efficient as well. Any problems it’s having can be chalked up to defunding combined with an influx of Iraq and Afghanistan vets needing care, but they do a bang-up job.

    Mackey, in his op-ed, pretty much pooh-poohed the idea of providing health care to anyone at all. He’s also said that people wouldn’t get cancer if they just ate right (presumably while putting money in his pocket).

    Personally, I think they should scrap the whole current bill and just move to a single-payer system, cutting out the insurance companies. After all, what do they do? They don’t provide care, but they do take a cut, and their profit is based on finding ways not to pay out on policies that people pay for. The government just pays the bill; they don’t tack on a commission or employ a lot of people to find reasons not to pay the bill.

    I’ll also tell you a secret: the insurance companies are denying fat people care right now, just because they’re fat. So would getting the government involved in paying for care really make things any worse?

  23. Chelsea February 2, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    Yes, the goal is to lower health care costs which they will do by having healthier employees. It’s not even a difficult leap to make. As for being discriminatory, as long as Whole Foods is providing the benefit package outlined in their employee handbook they are not discriminating. Again, this is an added benefit for healthier employees and an incentive for less healthy employees to get healthy. As I mentioned, there are probably better ways to do this, but as someone who works in HR, I can tell you these policies are common, becoming more common every day, and hardly discriminatory. Do they hurt feelings? Yes. Do they unfairly punish those who cannot control their BMI? Yes. Do they discriminate? No. Are they going to go away? No.

  24. aa February 2, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    The U.S. Health system never ceases to amaze me (and this is an attempt on the part of company to lower their health care costs). From a European point of view, my immediate reflex reaction is that universal health coverage is a basic human right. For the thin, the fat, smokers, non-smokers. EVERYONE.

    Does that mean that stronger, healthier, richer members of society have to cover for those who are less fortunate, or have made bad choices, or are weaker? Yes. It’s called a society.

  25. Jezebella February 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Mimi, Mackey resigned as chair so he could remain CEO.

    Chelsea, this IS discrimination, by any definition of the word.

    And gold digger, what’s with the snarking about “card-carrying liberals”? I’m as lefty as you can get, my friends are too, and a bunch of us are smokers. If your husband is a secret smoker, that’s his choice, but don’t let him blame this behavior on his “liberal friends”. Many of us are in fact “tolerant” of smoking. Your “liberals are hypocrites” subtext is pretty annoying.

    I know at least one long-time WF employee (been there 23 years, since she was 19) who is a. over 40 and b. loves her benefit package. However, she also has a high BMI so she’s probably not loving this new “incentive”. The notion that a 5% discount on groceries is the incentive that will make a fat person get skinny is freakin absurd. We get messages ALL THE TIME we should be thinner. If my employer just adds to the chorus, that’s not going to help. All it does is shame me and my fellow fatties (like Johnny Depp). It’s a stick, not a carrot, and it’s shitty.

  26. Francesca February 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Chelsea-

    Francesca thinks that the point in which you are mistaken is that this is a logical “incentive” to lose weight.

    When someone is fat, they are often socially ostracized, have more trouble finding jobs and dates, and constantly constantly get messages they are ugly and lazy.

    Why anyone thinks that an additional 2% off at Whole Foods would be the straw that breaks the camels back and finally makes teh fatz employeez lose teh weights is beyond the Francesca. EVERYONE fat wants to lose weight, unless they are extremely, extremely evolved emotionally.

    This is not an incentive to lose weight, it is just a reward for those who are naturally skinny, or have dieted recently, or are one of the SMALL percentage of dieters who can keep weight off for the long term.

    Studies have shown that shaming fat people never works in “inspiring” them to diet, in fact it makes them eat MORE.

    So if, on any level, this is meant to be (or be seen as) an incentive, it is an absurdly ineffective one.

  27. ikate February 2, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    I have to agree with Chelsea, and I am someone who wouldn’t qualify for the extra discount due to high BMI. I think this type of incentive (everyone gets a baseline benifit, your lifestyle choices can earn you extra) is here to stay and can be a good thing if the policy is written well. Where WF falls off the wagon here is by using BMI as a measure since it’s something that has been proven time and again to be a faulty measure of health/wellness.

    My employer in the last few years has rolled out a huge wellness program aimed first and foremost at saving themselves $$ in healthcare costs. This translates into more $$ for raises, job growth, etc (and that’s exactly what has happened). They have given us great tools to use for free if we want to use them and have given us incentives to do so. Free stop-smoking drugs/therapies, free weight-loss programs, free access to several local gyms. No one HAS to do these things and if you have a doctor’s evaluation to say that you don’t NEED any of these things (i.e. you don’t smoke, are at a healthy weight and pass a fitness test) you also get the incentive. What’s the incentive? You can lock your healthcare premium costs for 3 years. You don’t need to meet any BMI incentives; you just need to prove your participation in one of the various programs (Weight Watchers meetings, doctor evaluated weight loss, gym sign-ins of at least 10x a month, etc.). As a result, our workforce of over 30k people has 9k participating and earning the incentive. And our corporate healthcare payouts have gone down nearly $3 million in the 3 years it’s been in effect.

    So even with lots of employees not having premium increases the corporate healthcare payouts have decreased due to overall improved health of the workforce. How else do you propose we cut healthcare costs?

    What WF did is just a very bad application of a very common trend in Human Resources and Benefits. These policies, when done correctly, are not written to punish anyone. Everyone gets the basic benefit, but they are to reward those who actively make healthy lifestyle choices (which have nothing to do with how much you weigh or your BMI).

  28. Lisa February 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Ok, Chelsea, I get that this policy is meant to incentive lower BMI, but…honestly it’s a stupid policy. I say this as a professor of public policy. :) Here’s why:

    1. They have to monitor it. Unnecessary.
    2. It doesn’t incentivize what you want: health food choice.
    3. It does not create incentives for people like me to change behavior at all: my “ideal” BMI is not really attainable so I would ignore this policy and move on.

    Contrast this with a more sensible policy: everybody gets a 10 percent discount on anything from the produce section of the store. The end. No monitoring. No discrimination. Encourages both thin and fat employees to make better food choices.

    Of course, this assumes your goal is actual health instead of promoting a pretty public image, which is what Whole Foods actually wants.

    As Plumcake says, “tool.”

  29. The gold digger February 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Jezebella. I am married to a lefty who will not tell his lefty friends (and his socialist parents) that he smokes because they are vocal anti smokers who think that only a moron would smoke. I think he should out himself and maybe change their view of smokers (I think Obama should grow a spine on the issue), but it’s his choice. I think it is funny that the party of tolerance includes these intolerant anti smokers. I just on the sidelines with my popcorn and laugh.

  30. marvel February 2, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    @Lisa: I agree with you–if you’re going to provide incentives for healthy behaviors, provide incentives for healthy behaviors (30% off the carrots. No discount for the cream puffs.) (Yummmmm cream pufffs.)

  31. Astra February 2, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    “Keep in mind that the CEO also spoke out against Health Care Reform…”

    No, he spoke out against the specific congressional plan on the table and offered alternative solutions. It was surprising to see how quickly that turned to boycotts, as though there was only one way to fix health care.

    The BMI idea is terrible, though.

  32. Lisa February 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    Or, if we’re interested in getting people active, here’s another one: In your benefit package, employees are given the option of receiving a) free parking or b) free gym membership.

    I’ll buy the whole “I’m fat and therefore I’m costing all the thin people extra health care money” and change my wicked, wicked, wicked ways when all those thin people in LA stop driving and screwing up my respiratory health.

  33. Rachel of Cyberia February 2, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    This is going to drive their shrinkage through the roof. The employees who don’t get that big of a discount will think it’s justified to swipe a few apples or make a free sandwich on lunch break.

  34. Jennie February 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    A dear friend of mine is obsessed with her “BMI” she is 5’8″ tall. She weighs 189 lbs. She wears a size 0 pant. She runs and works out at least 30 minutes every day. However she has naturally huge breasts. Based on BMI, she is obese. Will this tool pay for her breast reduction so she fits in his ideal of a “physically fit” employee? Me? I am 5’5″ and 189 and all of mine is belly fat. I exercise by repeated arm movement. (It takes effort to keep me properly supplied with alcohol.) So she is considered in the same catagory I am? Plueeze!!!

  35. Tracy February 2, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    Ugh, this policy has made me annoyed.
    I agree with Whole Food’s idea of incentivizing healthy lifestyles.
    However, the way to do this is NOT to tie employee benefits to one’s BMI. Might I suggest discounted/free gym memberships, with incentives going to those who use them a certain number of times a month?

  36. Running Betty February 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    Probably not the comment you’re looking for, but that photo of Johnny Depp is HOOOOOTTTT! Thanks for that !

  37. Payroll Companies Albany August 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

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