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Whole Foods offering better discounts to fitter employees - Page 3

post #41 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by patricegonzales View Post
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?
1. Muscle weighs more than fat. Someone with a lot more muscle and denser bones could have normal body fat yet still be classified as "overweight" by the inane BMI system. I know several people to whom this applies. You've never encountered criticism of BMI before???

2. My point is that people can't just up and decide to change their body fat composition. It's not that simple, it's not that easy, and in most cases it's impossible. It's not a choice, and Whole Foods is presenting it as if it were.

Exercise doesn't work as a weight loss method. There are many, many studies that have shown this. In fact, increased exercise makes people's appetites increase.

Eating eggs and bacon does not increase your cholesterol; eating carbs like granola does. Also, high blood cholesterol does not equal having bad health. In fact, people with the lowest cholesterol levels have the highest death rates. Further, it's none of Whole Foods' business what their employees eat for breakfast.

3. My point is that being overweight does not equal being unhealthy.

4. So you're assuming that none of the employees of Whole Foods are poor? Many of them can't afford to buy the food at Whole Foods, so why make it even harder for them by reducing their discount? Whole Foods is taking healthful foods even farther out of their reach.

5. Well, yes, although it is unusual for such a Big Brother intrusion into people's cholesterol and blood pressure. Whereas anti-fat phobia is an everyday occurrence. It's so common that you can't seem to recognize it in Whole Foods' new policy.

The whole program is ridiculous and offensive on every level.
post #42 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiromamma View Post
24 BMI is NOT that unrealistic. WF is not asking its employees to look like Kate Moss.
Bull. Ask anyone over the height of 6 foot. The BMI calculations are completely skewed at both the tall and short ends of the spectrum. The "ideal" weight for my 6'4" husband according to the BMI scale is 180 lbs. Which is literally skin and bones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patricegonzales View Post
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!
Actually, that's not true. Exercise certainly can hurt, quite literally. And replacing a high protein meal with one high in sugar and carbs absolutely can hurt. The fat myth and the cholesterol myth rear their ugly heads again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
Granted, this is anecdotal, but I disagree completely. For me, I've always been skinnier when I follow a vegan diet than when I don't.
That's great for you. Were you "obese" when not following one? I gained most of my weight following a vegan diet, and did major damage to my hormone systems that I've spent years trying to resolve. And I have had to accept that the damage may not be repairable. And yet I eat a completely organic diet.

I'll also take issue with the assumption that just because I'm "obese", I need cholesterol medication, blood pressure medication or insulin. In fact, the last time I was at the doctor was to get my 20 week ultrasound, and that was a year ago. The only drug I take on a regular basis is Domperidone. In the years prior to that, the only times I saw a doctor for non OB/GYN reasons was when the ash from the wildfires was causing asthmatic symptoms, which has nothing to do with my weight.

The policy is absolutely discriminatory, and I have to say I'm surprised there are so many people on MDC of all places who agree with and support these discriminatory practices, and I would have to guess that none of you have ever been the subject of discrimination or you'd probably feel differently about perpetuating it against someone else.
post #43 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayo de sol View Post
1. Muscle weighs more than fat. Someone with a lot more muscle and denser bones could have normal body fat yet still be classified as "overweight" by the inane BMI system. I know several people to whom this applies. You've never encountered criticism of BMI before???

2. My point is that people can't just up and decide to change their body fat composition. It's not that simple, it's not that easy, and in most cases it's impossible. It's not a choice, and Whole Foods is presenting it as if it were.

Exercise doesn't work as a weight loss method. There are many, many studies that have shown this. In fact, increased exercise makes people's appetites increase.

Eating eggs and bacon does not increase your cholesterol; eating carbs like granola does. Also, high blood cholesterol does not equal having bad health. In fact, people with the lowest cholesterol levels have the highest death rates. Further, it's none of Whole Foods' business what their employees eat for breakfast.

3. My point is that being overweight does not equal being unhealthy.

4. So you're assuming that none of the employees of Whole Foods are poor? Many of them can't afford to buy the food at Whole Foods, so why make it even harder for them by reducing their discount? Whole Foods is taking healthful foods even farther out of their reach.

5. Well, yes, although it is unusual for such a Big Brother intrusion into people's cholesterol and blood pressure. Whereas anti-fat phobia is an everyday occurrence. It's so common that you can't seem to recognize it in Whole Foods' new policy.

The whole program is ridiculous and offensive on every level.
1. No, I have not, prior to this, encountered criticism of BMI. I should have looked into it further before my comment about the difference in someone with a vastly high amount of muscle mass compared to an average person their height.
That being said, all information I have found does not seem relevant to your point of the obese being discriminated against. All that I can seem to find is that BMI is greatly flawed for the super athletic or persons with very large amounts of muscle being that they can fall under the "overweight" category or in few instances, the "obese" category.

2. I mean this with all sincerity and am truly interested in the answer: How do people not have a choice? I do not think that we can jump up and change, but we didnt wake up in an obese body. I believe that choices got us to where we are. Slowly we became, and slowly we can undo. If you have information that can help me to understand I would love to hear it. You can even PM me if you prefer. Your information may help me to understand myself, as well as many that I love.

Stating simply that exercise does not work as a weight loss method is not true. For some yes, others, no. I see it as a step (a choice) in a lifestyle change, one that may be easier for some than others as a first step.

Thank you for (the brief) info on the eggs and bacon not causing high cholesterol. It has spurred me to do more research...if only to get our favorite breakfast back.

3. Being overweight in most cases (more often than not) can lead to health problems. And isnt that the point? That we have an obesity issue in our country?

4. You referenced the "food deserts" and people not having access to healthful foods. They most obviously have access to healthful foods being that they work for WF. In your post it was not simply "poor people".
Stating that employees cannot afford to shop at WF is untrue. Yes, WF is higher priced than most other grocery stores, but on average, not more than 20%. And isnt that the discount that all employees receive? No, it is not ever going to be as cheap as Wal-Mart, but what are people buying at Wal-Mart?
Also, WF starts all employees at $9.75 an hour. Way above minimum wage, and high above the industry standard. They also employ 80/20 full time to part time workers, the exact opposite of major grocery chains.



I find it hard to call this discrimination.
post #44 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
Bull. Ask anyone over the height of 6 foot. The BMI calculations are completely skewed at both the tall and short ends of the spectrum. The "ideal" weight for my 6'4" husband according to the BMI scale is 180 lbs. Which is literally skin and bones.


I want to address this, because this is the case with my husband, who is exactly 6-4. He weighed 180 when I met him, and he looked emaciated because he was living in poverty, while working at the then main competitor of WF (they have since bought that company).

And, ftr, I would say that it's absoloutely false that WF has better pay and benefits than other grocery stores. While I was working for Wild Oats, before they were purchased by WF, there was a lot of employee turn over between the two companies - meaning we had plenty of former WF employees and they had plenty of WO employees. The pay scales and benefits were essentially the same, and were much lower than the big chain grocery stores. My friend working in the deli at Vons/Safeway made significantly more than my husband and I, who worked in management at WO. Her health care benefits also cost her significantly less.
post #45 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post

And, ftr, I would say that it's absoloutely false that WF has better pay and benefits than other grocery stores. While I was working for Wild Oats, before they were purchased by WF, there was a lot of employee turn over between the two companies - meaning we had plenty of former WF employees and they had plenty of WO employees. The pay scales and benefits were essentially the same, and were much lower than the big chain grocery stores. My friend working in the deli at Vons/Safeway made significantly more than my husband and I, who worked in management at WO. Her health care benefits also cost her significantly less.
Ah yes. That is because Safeway has a union.
post #46 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
Everyone knows that runners are more prone to joint problems, it's just common sense
Everyone may 'know' it, and it may be 'common sense', but more and more actual research is showing that it's not necessarily true.

And I know this isn't going to win me any fans, but I feel compelled to say it. I have been either overweight or obese from the age of 8 until I was 35. I am 37 now. The arguments against WF's policy that I'm reading in this thread are pretty much word for word the excuses I made year after year for why I 'couldn't' lose weight. But once I finally started really exercising and eating the proper amount of real food, I lost the weight, and all the health problems I'd previously used as excuses for my inability to lose weight went away as well. We absolutely DO have control over our weight and body composition, save for a very very tiny percentage of people with serious endocrine disorders. Low TSH isn't one of them, for the record, nor is PCOS.
post #47 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
Ah yes. That is because Safeway has a union.
Right, but most of the chain grocery stores are, and the post I was responding to was claiming that WF had the best pay and benefits in the industry. If the industry is "grocery," then that's not true. If it's "health food store," it might be - but most of it's competition are small chains or mom and pop stores that don't have the same monitary resources and buying power. Whole Foods isn't so good for small chains and mom and pops, just like Walmart and Starbucks aren't.
post #48 of 65
I'm still undecided on what I think about the discount for "healthier" people but I wanted to point out that Whole Foods is a large corporation international store. I only discovered them a little over a year ago here in Portland and so far I don't like what I see. They pushed out a fantastic store (Wild Oats) and have had very questionable ethics in dealing with another local store here (New Seasons). So anyone thinking that they are just a down the street local family run farmer's market type store is uninformed. The attempt to swoop in and set up major shop here in Portland has been met with a lot of resistance and been likened to Walmart.
I'm thinking that the response to these stores and their policy's must be very regional, I don't think anyone in my previous home (Tacoma) would have cared one wit how they went about their business and employee policies but in towns where there is a large connected community they have met more resistance. It would be interesting to see if those on this list who were anti WF are in larger community focused towns and those pro WF are in cities with less alternatives.
Good discussion so far ladies, I love to see everyone's viewpoints.
post #49 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayo de sol View Post

Eating eggs and bacon does not increase your cholesterol; eating carbs like granola does. Also, high blood cholesterol does not equal having bad health. In fact, people with the lowest cholesterol levels have the highest death rates. .
The study you're referring didn't differentiate between people who had naturally low cholesterol and people who had low cholesterol as a side affect of another disease. Subsequent studies that made the distinction found that people with naturally low cholesterol (ie, attributable to lifestyle factors like diet and exercise) did not after all have higher death rates than the general public.

Eating carbs like granola does NOT increase cholesterol. If it did I wouldn't have a total cholesterol level of 110. Lack of physical activity is a far better predictor of high cholesterol levels.
post #50 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorrielink View Post
I'm still undecided on what I think about the discount for "healthier" people but I wanted to point out that Whole Foods is a large corporation international store. I only discovered them a little over a year ago here in Portland and so far I don't like what I see. They pushed out a fantastic store (Wild Oats) and have had very questionable ethics in dealing with another local store here (New Seasons).
Whole Foods, bought Wild Oats in 2007. Where I live, the Wild Oats stores became Whole Foods Markets, but I'm sure that was mainly because Wild Oats had been here longer so those store were established and there was no Whole Foods Markets nearby to serve as competition. They chose to build those in areas that weren't already serviced.


I do find the policy discriminatory, but I'm not surprised. The US has has leaned more and more over the years towards a socialist nanny state mentality that thinks they have the right to dictate every aspect of our lives even to the point of what food we choose to put in our mouths. My husband can walk down the street with his average weight self and be assumed to be healthy while this fat girl is discriminated against. All because his huge health care costs from his bypass and knee replacement and multiple hospitalizations are invisible to the naked eye as long as he is dressed. Ironic that my Dr bills in the last 10 years have been a tiny fraction of his. Oh yes, I wear glasses and have allergies and I did have some dental work. That is all I've needed.
post #51 of 65
I'm really surprised that people think that Whole Foods is some sweet lil natural foods store. They have a long history of treating their employees really, really badly. Their health insurance is the worst in the industry: they have something like a $5000 deductible... at a company where the average worker earns $8 an hour. That includes EVERY employee, including management in corporate. By contrast, the average salary at Trader Joe's is about $17 an hour. Their CEO is a truly awful human being, but at least I'll give him credit for being open about it. Their competitive practices are horrifying, they're more vicious than Wal-Mart over unionizing. So many of their products are the exact same thing you can buy at the mainstream supermarket, but because it's at Whole Foods they can charge 3x as much. And their CEO is even open about that: I've read interviews with him where he says as much! He used to yap far too much for his own good to the Wall Street Journal. Various states are always investigating them for labeling things, particularly produce and meat, as being organic or local, when they're not. They get fined for it all the time.

I haven't shopped at Whole Foods in years. They're one of the really truly most despicable companies I know of. This story is just icing. I do most of my shopping at a local market that does sell a lot of local and organic food, and I'm happy to patronize Stop and Shop. Their workers are unionized and they offer decent wages and benefits, which is far more than I can say about Whole Foods. Also, they sell THE SAME EXACT STUFF, just cheaper.
post #52 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
The US has has leaned more and more over the years towards a socialist nanny state mentality that thinks they have the right to dictate every aspect of our lives even to the point of what food we choose to put in our mouths.
Just curious, what part of the US do you live in that the food you eat is dictated?
post #53 of 65
Here are some links about Whole Foods. I just found them by Googling so I can't guarantee that they're all flawless, but skimming each briefly it all seems to cover what I've read countless places about Whole Foods.

http://michaelbluejay.com/misc/wholefoods.html
http://motherjones.com/politics/2009...-union-busting
http://www.counterpunch.org/sharon05082009.html
http://www.organicconsumers.org/Corp/wholefood.htm
http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/pati...?storyId=29007 (has information on the deductible: I was confused, it's "only" a $1300 deductible, with pathetic coverage beyond that and an additional prescription deductable)
http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0508/521743.html (about labeling some food as organic from CA, when it's actually non-organic from China)

I don't have time to find more (have to go to bed!) but there is PLENTY of stuff out there on the web about what an awful scam the whole place is. They're really quite open about it. It's just that most people don't care. It's nice to hear that they care in Portland.
post #54 of 65
Ooo I forgot to mention they are also in the middle of a labor dispute with the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters for hiring non-union contractors to work on their stores. That means they are hiring workers below the Area Standard Wage which hurts everyone in the end. It's tantamount to them saying 'screw fair family wages'. This is extremely uncool in this town as construction has come to nearly a standstill in this economy.
Heres a link to a local newspaper I like with a story on it about 6 months ago.
http://wweek.com/editorial/3541/12968/
post #55 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambereva View Post
Everyone may 'know' it, and it may be 'common sense', but more and more actual research is showing that it's not necessarily true.

And I know this isn't going to win me any fans, but I feel compelled to say it. I have been either overweight or obese from the age of 8 until I was 35. I am 37 now. The arguments against WF's policy that I'm reading in this thread are pretty much word for word the excuses I made year after year for why I 'couldn't' lose weight. But once I finally started really exercising and eating the proper amount of real food, I lost the weight, and all the health problems I'd previously used as excuses for my inability to lose weight went away as well. We absolutely DO have control over our weight and body composition, save for a very very tiny percentage of people with serious endocrine disorders. Low TSH isn't one of them, for the record, nor is PCOS.
Though I am not dismissing the biased and possible discriminatory nature of this.....

I will agree with you ambreva, we have both been on the other side of healthy weight. There are a lot of accusations and statements thrown around here, and it's an emotional topic. Blame the fat people, blame the fit people, fat is unhealthy, running is unhealthy.....you can shop at whole foods or not, you can work there or not. Discrimination is everywhere in some way or another it seems.
post #56 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
Various states are always investigating them for labeling things, particularly produce and meat, as being organic or local, when they're not. They get fined for it all the time.
Holy cr*p, that is sooo evil! I hadn't heard of that before, but it certainly does sound characteristic of Whole Foods. That's the whole reason people shop there in the first place, to get organic products that are unavailable elsewhere. And they're lying about their food! Whole Foods is the devil.
post #57 of 65
patricegonzales, if you are interested in seeing more info on the diet and weight loss studies I've mentioned, you might enjoy reading Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health.

I have no more time or energy to continue with this thread, and it really upsets me that so many people are blind to the fat-phobia and fat-hatred that Whole Foods is self-righteously indulging in.
post #58 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I think it's great personally.My health insurance gives me a discount for going to the gym 50x a year. I like incentives to keep me on track personally.
I think that's a great program, because it rewards healthy behavior.
post #59 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
in most cases it's impossible.
I completely disagree that losing body fat is mostly impossible. I think that if someone eats the number of calories that they need to lose fat, they will. Unless there are other issues, it's mostly math.
post #60 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambereva View Post
Everyone may 'know' it, and it may be 'common sense', but more and more actual research is showing that it's not necessarily true.
Exactly. That was the point I was trying to make. My comment was tongue-in-cheek. I see people making anecdotal and prejudicial comments about BMI but they are not backing it up with the hard data and reputable studies that they are demanding in relation to running and sports injuries.

Quote:
We absolutely DO have control over our weight and body composition, save for a very very tiny percentage of people with serious endocrine disorders. Low TSH isn't one of them, for the record, nor is PCOS.
You cannot state this as an absolute, based on a sample size of 1--yourself. Just because you had that experience and those results does not mean that other people will experience the same thing. It's not a matter of winning you any fans, you can believe what you want to believe and judge others accordingly.
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