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Whole Foods offering better discounts to fitter employees - Page 2

post #21 of 65
I love Whole Foods and this makes me love them more. They seem like a great company to work for!


Runners: I'd love to see that evidence. I think the one time I've gone to the doctor in the last five years for breathing issue (not really running related, but I might have ignored it if I didn't want to keep training) cost far less than a daily dose of cholesterol, diabetic, etc. pills.

The big picture: They aren't the only company doing stuff like this. Many large companies have lowered the cost of healthcare coverage significantly by urging/rewarding employees who are healthier. I will look for the NY Times article.

Vegetarians: I think grass fed beef, free range chickens, etc. are a great option. I also know people who hunt deer, turkey, etc. However, by and large the meat industry in this country is producing meat human should not eat. Limiting meat is a good option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bronxmom View Post
Drinking alcohol is associated with increased health problems. Living in a poor neighborhood is associated with increased health problems. Stressful jobs are associated with increased health problems. Not working out and being out of shape - regardless of your bmi - is associated with increased health problems. And the list could go on and on. Should all these people be penalized? It's significant that it's weight that people go after - it's become a culturally acceptable scapegoat.

Rather, we should look for social solutions to these issues. Everyone should have access to affordable, quality, nutritious food. Companies should offer gyms or gym memberships for their employees. People should be given humane working hours and conditions so they have time and energy to spend on eating well and working out and spending time with one's family and pursuing one's passions. And healthcare should be a right that everyone is entitled to regardless of their personal failings. Some people can't quit smoking; some drink coffee non-stop; and some are overweight for a myriad of reasons, some within their "control" and some not. We should have an attitude of helping people in a non-judgmental and non-moralistic way, not penalizing those who fail to be perfect in a world that's incredibly imperfect and difficult to navigate.

Plus, it's not just a perk. Everyone used to get these discounts and now they're differentiating it based on weight.
I don't mean to be offensive, but this seems over the top.

(I'm sure Whole Foods would fire a drunk.)

I work out quite a bit and eat very healthy food. My kids rarely, if ever eat junk food. I shop at Whole Foods for the most part currently.

We are not wealthy! We make many sacrifices to do this. I don't buy clothes, tons of toys, etc. We pass up a lot to spend money on these things. We spend quite a bit of money on swimming lessons for the kids, bikes, running shoes, races, gym memberships, bike classes etc. We also spend a decent amount of money on food. I'm sure we get far less for our money at Whole Foods than we would at a traditional store. However, my kids aren't exposed to tons of junk at the check out, we don't end up grabbing chips, empty bread, etc. so we save money on those things.

It would be awesome if somehow our social system were revamped and everyone was nurtured back to a healthy weight, but it doesn't seem realistic. In the meantime, it seems perfectly acceptable for businesses to do it. They are driven by the bottom line, which is fine by me.

If you want to get angry at someone, get angry at our government for subsidizing all this stupid corn and soy that is processed and thrown into so much. The insane amount of pesticides they can use on these crops is destroying wildlife too.

Whole Foods is certainly not the enemy here!

In Defense of Food and pick up Food, Inc. from Redbox (only $1). They are pretty reader/viewer friendly. Has anyone seen these?
post #22 of 65
I LOVE this.
As PPs have said, it just makes me love WF more.
The most generous discounts are awarded to folks with 24 BMI...just below overweight for women. I don't see how "obesity awareness" groups can object.
Way to go Whole Foods.
post #23 of 65
I think it's dumb, discriminatory, and cements conviction not to shop there. As others have said, amid other things, it's completely backwards to give discounts on healthy foods to those people who are perceived by the management to need it the least. They might like to market it as an "incentive to get healthy," but it really screams that their obese employees (as well as others being targeted) are not worth as much as their "healthy" ones.
post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
I think it's dumb, discriminatory, and cements conviction not to shop there. As others have said, amid other things, it's completely backwards to give discounts on healthy foods to those people who are perceived by the management to need it the least. They might like to market it as an "incentive to get healthy," but it really screams that their obese employees (as well as others being targeted) are not worth as much as their "healthy" ones.
No one is saying that people with a lower BMI need or deserve to save money more than those with a higher BMI. For heaven sake, the highest level of savings goes to folks with a BMI of 24. The lowest level of savings is to folks with a BMI of 27...significantly overweight.
I'm 5'6". At a BMI of 24, that's roughly a size 10.
Being overweight carries significant long term health risks. There's no debating that.
Why are folks upset about this program?
It's taking into account the epidemic of obesity in our country and setting a very achievable benchmark.
Everyone who works at WF gets the same health plan but those who make the effort to achieve a minimal level of fitness are rewarded for their efforts.
What's the problem?
post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiromamma View Post

Why are folks upset about this program?
It is discrimination. It is an invasion of privacy. It is a value judgment that I find offensive.

There are unhealthy people that are thin and healthy people that are overweight.

I have always valued WF for how they treat employees. This just sucks.
post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiromamma View Post
No one is saying that people with a lower BMI need or deserve to save money more than those with a higher BMI. For heaven sake, the highest level of savings goes to folks with a BMI of 24. The lowest level of savings is to folks with a BMI of 27...significantly overweight.
I'm 5'6". At a BMI of 24, that's roughly a size 10.
Being overweight carries significant long term health risks. There's no debating that.
Why are folks upset about this program?
It's taking into account the epidemic of obesity in our country and setting a very achievable benchmark.
Everyone who works at WF gets the same health plan but those who make the effort to achieve a minimal level of fitness are rewarded for their efforts.
What's the problem?
There are a ton of reasons already listed in this thread, and i agree with all of them. Do you need further clarification about any of them? (That's not a snarky question. I really want to know if you're not understanding people's objections, or if you disagree with them.)
post #27 of 65
I wanted to add that the obesity thing is an issue, of course, but the cholestol level and blood pressure are even more disturbing to me. Both of these can be hereditary and can be very difficult to overcome.
post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
There are a ton of reasons already listed in this thread, and i agree with all of them. Do you need further clarification about any of them? (That's not a snarky question. I really want to know if you're not understanding people's objections, or if you disagree with them.)
I have not seen a compelling argument that is based on fact and not emotion for why this is "discriminatory".
Based on this incentive plan, no employee at Whole Foods is denied benefits. The employees who maintain a minimum level of what is considered healthy are rewarded.
24 BMI is NOT that unrealistic. WF is not asking its employees to look like Kate Moss.
On the contrary, they are rewarding their employees for maintaining a BMI that is slightly healthier than my own.
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiromamma View Post
The employees who maintain a minimum level of what is considered healthy are rewarded.
BMI is not a measure of health.
post #30 of 65
This new program at Whole Foods is horrible and completely discriminatory! Time to boycott.

1. BMI is BS. BMI doesn't account for individual differences in muscle mass and bone mass. Two people of the same height and weight have the same BMI even though they could have vastly different quantities of body fat.

2. The program assumes that being overweight or obese is a choice, and that people can easily change their body shape. Study after study has shown that diets don't work, and a very small minority of people manage to keep weight off that they have lost. The program assumes that it's nothing but laziness that keeps people overweight, and all they need is a kick in the butt from their employer.

3. The program assumes that being thin is always healthier than being overweight, which is simply untrue. Underweight people have far higher death rates than overweight people.

4. The program is classist because the fattest people are usually the poorest people who have less time, money, and access to healthful foods. Many of the poorest people live in what are called "food deserts" where there is no food except fast food--no grocery stores. Wouldn't these people need the discount the most? So they can eat more healthfully?

5. The program is simply size-ist. It's simply not right to discriminate against people for how much they weigh.
post #31 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarAndSun View Post
Runners: I'd love to see that evidence. I think the one time I've gone to the doctor in the last five years for breathing issue (not really running related, but I might have ignored it if I didn't want to keep training) cost far less than a daily dose of cholesterol, diabetic, etc. pills.
Can you provide no evidence that you would be on a daily dose of cholesterol and diabetes meds if you didn't run instead of a less joint jarring form of exercise? Everyone knows that runners are more prone to joint problems, it's just common sense, right, just like it's common sense that a person with a BMI of 24 is healthier than a person with a BMI of 26 and therefore deserving of a better discount. Are there reputable studies that show that either is true?

Quote:
It would be awesome if somehow our social system were revamped and everyone was nurtured back to a healthy weight, but it doesn't seem realistic. In the meantime, it seems perfectly acceptable for businesses to do it. They are driven by the bottom line, which is fine by me.
You think that they'd then offer the biggest discount to the group that needs it the most, by their reckoning.

But, honestly, I don't think it is possible to nurture everyone back to what you would consider a healthy weight, regardless of the time and money involved. I think the best you can do is to make healthy choices for yourself.
post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawningmama View Post
This policy is ridiculous, discriminatory and just ugly. I will likely never again set foot in a Whole Foods.
Really? You will not set foot in a Whole Foods over this? Please support your local coop then and not just another grocery chain or worse...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oh the Irony View Post
It is an invasion of privacy.
This program is not mandatory, so how is this an invasion of privacy?

To boycott an other wise great company based on an incentive program is, to me, a bit ridiculous.
Where will you take your business? A local food coop? A true mom and pop store? the farmers market? Then awesome! Great! And more power to you! :
But, truth be told, most people that choose to boycott Whole Foods have no problem frequenting the Safeways, Publix, Wal-marts, etc. They ignore the chemicals in the foods they buy, the direct marketing to their children, and the employee stocking the shelves that doesn't qualify for health insurance because you have to work 35 hours a week to qualify and he only gets 34. These same people continue to watch the McDonalds adds and surround themselves with fashion magazines. They happily send their children off to school with the $1.25 to pay for the frozen pizza, deep fried chicken nuggets, and chocolate milk for their lunch.


This is that big of a deal? A discrimination against all obese people? Or is it just a program to help motivate someone to make a change?

I dont see how this program has hurt any or discriminated against anyone and I would love for one of the groups find a disgruntled employee.
post #33 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by patricegonzales View Post
To boycott an other wise great company based on an incentive program is, to me, a bit ridiculous.
(snip)
I dont see how this program has hurt any or discriminated against anyone and I would love for one of the groups find a disgruntled employee.
By what ruler are you measuring Whole Foods as a "great" company?

I doubt it would be hard to find employees who are upset about or feel discriminated against by this program.
post #34 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayo de sol View Post
This new program at Whole Foods is horrible and completely discriminatory! Time to boycott.

1. BMI is BS. BMI doesn't account for individual differences in muscle mass and bone mass. Two people of the same height and weight have the same BMI even though they could have vastly different quantities of body fat.

2. The program assumes that being overweight or obese is a choice, and that people can easily change their body shape. Study after study has shown that diets don't work, and a very small minority of people manage to keep weight off that they have lost. The program assumes that it's nothing but laziness that keeps people overweight, and all they need is a kick in the butt from their employer.

3. The program assumes that being thin is always healthier than being overweight, which is simply untrue. Underweight people have far higher death rates than overweight people.

4. The program is classist because the fattest people are usually the poorest people who have less time, money, and access to healthful foods. Many of the poorest people live in what are called "food deserts" where there is no food except fast food--no grocery stores. Wouldn't these people need the discount the most? So they can eat more healthfully?

5. The program is simply size-ist. It's simply not right to discriminate against people for how much they weigh.
1. Could you define "vastly"? Someone that has vastly (in my understanding of the word) different quantities of body fat would not weigh the same as someone else that is the same height with more muscle mass and vastly less fat.

2. Employees are not put on any type of diet if they dont meet the criteria, so I fail to see your point here about diets not working. What about exercising to shed some pounds? Or having granola instead of the fried eggs and bacon to help bring down that cholesterol? Or learning to meditate to lower your blood preassure? None of it could hurt and it might just help!

3. I dont think that this is as black and white as you are making it. Each extreme causes its own issues that may or may not cause death.

4. This point is not valid being that the people you are speaking of work at Whole Foods Market

5. Would you say they are discriminating against people with high blood pressure or cholesterol?
post #35 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by patricegonzales View Post
5. Would you say they are discriminating against people with high blood pressure or cholesterol?
Yes.
post #36 of 65
and, ftr, even as someone who absolutely hates cigarretes, I'm opposed to this program for smokers, too. There are so many choices we make everyday that impact our health. Why are they only singling out these choices? For example, married people have been shown in studies to be healthier than single people. Why aren't they offering marriage incentives?
post #37 of 65
So, yeah, this program is complete crap and is discriminitory by definition. HOWEVER, it looks to me like all employees have recieved an increase in their discount since when I worked at Whole Foods we only got 20%. So that part is cool for all their employees.

Also, stuff like this did not used to be passed unless enough employees voted to ok it. So I assume that was the case here also. Democracy is a bitch, eh?

Thirdly there are often large class differences among Whole Foods employees. In the store I worked the differences were most apparent between the deli team members and those who worked in, say, whole body. You can't assume that just because someone works at WF they can afford to buy groceries there.
post #38 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
By what ruler are you measuring Whole Foods as a "great" company?

I doubt it would be hard to find employees who are upset about or feel discriminated against by this program.
I say "great company" in comparison to all major grocery chains that I am familiar with and on many fronts (employee pay, benefits, job advancement, overall job satisfaction as well as community stewardship and customer satisfaction).

eclipse, in reference to WF discriminating against people with high blood pressure:
Whole Foods also offers a baby bonus if you have a baby, would you consider them to be discriminating against people that do not have children? They also require you to pay more for your health insurance if you are a smoker, is this discrimination against smokers? You get bonuses for ridding your bike to work, what about the people that dont have a bike or cant ride a bike? They offer flexible break schedules to mothers that are pumping, would you consider them to be discriminating against men or women that dont pump but want a little extra time to finish their sandwich?

Or would you say they are giving a little to get a little?
post #39 of 65
Count me in with the people that think it's a discriminatory act by a company who's CEO is completely out of touch with the world around him. I've been boycotting Whole Foods for years, and this isn't winning in brownie points (no pun intended) with me.

Sizeism is the last acceptable "ism". Who cares what fat people think. They're just dumb couch potatoes, right?

The definition of "discriminatory" is "Marked by or showing prejudice; biased."
Right there is "fact" that this practice is discriminatory. Whole Foods is showing a bias towards people that they consider socially acceptable.

It's a slippery slope, this line of thinking. Where does it end?

They're basing their "dicount policy" on a faulty measuring system. Not to mention it also affords ammunition to people who hate fat people. As we can see rather clearly from the comment sections in various places.

The reason why so many people are defensive about this, is because it's one more drop in the bucket of bigotry.

ETA: Not to mention that they're couching it in terms of good intentions. As if we should thank them for caring enough to think of our health and well-being. I'm not buying it.
post #40 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by patricegonzales View Post
But, truth be told, most people that choose to boycott Whole Foods have no problem frequenting the Safeways, Publix, Wal-marts, etc. They ignore the chemicals in the foods they buy, the direct marketing to their children, and the employee stocking the shelves that doesn't qualify for health insurance because you have to work 35 hours a week to qualify and he only gets 34. These same people continue to watch the McDonalds adds and surround themselves with fashion magazines. They happily send their children off to school with the $1.25 to pay for the frozen pizza, deep fried chicken nuggets, and chocolate milk for their lunch.
Whaaa????

Where do you get this bizarre stereotype of people who boycott Whole Foods?

In my experience, people who boycott Whole Foods prefer to shop at the local food co-op or the farmers' market.
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