Sunday, July 29, 2007

The price of being "overweight"

I put the term in parenthesis, because I feel it is used as judgement of folks, particularly women, who do not fit the stereotype of American "beauty." Two beautiful friends of mine have experienced prejudice most of their lives due to their weight and this issue is close to my heart. Folks come in all size and shape, and health is not solely related to weight. Corporate america is taking it one step further in attacking folks whose weight deviate from certain norms by charging them health care penalties. I read in the paper today that workers who meet overweight criteria will be charged a fat fine. In addition to obesity, other factors that may warrant the fine ($30 every two weeks) would be high blood pressure and high cholesterol, maybe diabetes too. One of the person surveyed stated that she thougth it was a good idea and that her weight is fine. What happens when other health concerns make the list? Should I pay more because I have asthma that requires a lot of maintenance medication? Yes, we all have a certain amount of control over our health status, but there are other factors that need to be examined as well. What if an employee has a very stressful position within the company which leads to high blood pressure? What about genetic predisposition to these conditions? Should they be included in the equation? Or do we need to get a Gattaca-like society where health status dictate our social status.

If you have not noticed, I'm a little steamed by that. Americans don't want socialism because it is too controlling, but resort to such pernicious strategies to exert control over those who do not meet the societal norm. Makes me crazy!


Post a Comment

<< Home