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Will Companies' Health Care Programs Result in More Body Size Discrimination?


Business  (tags: ethics, business, corporate, dishonesty, healthcare programs, workplace benefits, discrimination, money, society, news, politics, consumers, abuse )

Cal
- 418 days ago - truth-out.org
Moreover, many of these so-called "health" initiatives center around a single goal: losing weight.As health care costs have begun to rise in the United States, however, such incentives have taken what some call a troubling turn.



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Comments

pam w. (191)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 9:57 am
Should those who consistently abuse their bodies/health expect others to foot their medical bills? Or should they have to contribute a larger share of income to their insurance fees?

Education about nutrition and health is CRITICAL and MUST become a regular feature of school curricula. (I see SO MANY children at the zoo, shuffling along like obese little zombies, cramming chips, candy and sweet drinks into their mouths.)

Those who continue to smoke, ignore diabetes, etc, need to understand they're putting their health (and their finances in jeopardy!)
 

lee e. (114)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 12:38 pm
A lot of the problems that Pam mentions and that are obvious, might be addressed by psycho-therapists, and small clinics that might address specific issues such as weight, smoking, diabetes, drinking at minimal costs, or with volunteers that have expertise in some of these addictions +/or life harming issues.
I don't think that most people should be further traumatized by fines or insurance payments that are "off-the-wall" - maybe there are a few individuals, but perhaps with a warning system, or a "3 strikes and you're fined" - but not without redemption - addictions to substances are much more difficult to gain victory over, and a punishment system will profit nothing!
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 4:22 pm
Yeah, sounds a little "Big-Brother-ish" to me....slippery slope. Next, they'll be checking for genetic markers, which you have no control over. I work hard to eat nutritiously, but fall off that wagon like everyone else. We aren't robots, and can't be treated like cattle.
 

Ravenna C. (20)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 4:48 pm
Here we go again...Corporate America has bamboozled everyone!! HFCS and Apartame are directly responsible for the obesity epidemic. If these corporations are so worried about health care costs why don't they lobby Washington?? BECAUSE IT IS ALL A LIE. They win again. All of us in the healthcare industry KNOW exactly why there is an Obesity epidemic. Your bodies and minds are being poisoned. Do you really think that all of a sudden in the last 20 years people just started becoming gluttonous??? I hate to see how successful the propaganda machine has been.
HFCS was introduced in 1970. By 1990, consumption of it had increased 1000 percent. HFCS is now found in almost all caloric sweeteners which are added to foods and beverages in the U.S. It can be found in soft drinks and fruit drinks, candied and canned fruits, dairy products like ice cream and yogurt, bread and baked goods, cereals, jellies, ketchup, BBQ sauce, salad dressing — even vitamins and supplements — and overwhelmingly in foods marketed to children. In short, HFCS is found in most processed foods, and it is difficult to avoid. Every American consumes an average of 60 pounds of HFCS a year.

HFCS’s connection to obesity, diabetes and heart disease lies in the way our bodies react to the substance. Unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production, both key processes in appetite regulation and fat storage. Instead, fructose forms the backbone for triacylglycerols. Elevated levels of triacylglycerols prevent leptin from reaching the brain and are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Why does that matter? Without leptin, the brain doesn’t send out the signal to stop eating. There is no caloric difference between the two sugars, but glucose is readily absorbed and allows the brain to signal that we’ve had enough food.

Simply put, fructose leads our bodies to store more calories as fat, and leads us to overeat because we don’t feel full.

A USDA study that compared rats fed a high-fructose diet to those fed glucose found disastrous results from the fructose diet. The male rats did not reach adulthood, had anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy — which means their hearts enlarged until they exploded — and their testicles didn’t develop properly. Female rats were not as dramatically affected, but they were unable to produce live babies. The results were exacerbated by copper deficiency, a fairly common deficiency in Americans. Dr. Meira Field, who led the study, notes that while "every cell in the body can metabolize glucose … fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of the rats on the high-fructose diet looked like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and
cirrhotic."
WAKE UP!!!!
 

Billie C. (2)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 8:39 pm
once they are allowed to target one group they can target every group. slippery slope to head down i think.
 

Ravenna C. (20)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 9:26 pm
Corporate America wins either way. They use poisons in food that make people unhealthy. Make bigger profits off of these foods and then financially punish people for the effects of the poisons. It makes me think of the videos I have seen of panels of physicians (Bought and paid for) that testified before congress that "cigarette smoking is safe, doesn't cause cancer, and isn't addictive". And of course the 1% will make $ from Big Pharma who make the medicines needed to treat these chronic diseases the poisons cause.

The 1% make $ from the bigger profits from cheaper manufacturing thanks to HFCS (which gives food a much longer shelf life) and GMO's. If course they are still making $ from making cigarettes an even more effective nicotine (a legal drug) delivery system. Now they are going to make $ by punishing people for the effects of all of these things. Brilliant. I guess that is why they are the 1% and we aren't.
 

Brian M. (145)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 9:30 pm
We have the best government that corporate dollars can buy; it's no surprise that our health care system is designed to profit the wealthy at the expense of all the rest of us. The two-party system serves the corporate agenda: that's why no matter who is elected, corporations win. The people lose. We need universal, single payer health care. We need a political party that represents the people. We need the Green New Deal and the Green Party of the United States.
 

John S. (297)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 4:15 am
Hope so, especially those that supported the no smoking measures. Last time I checked no one tried to force me to buy things I didn't want, actually the stores make it easy to avoid if you don't visit every aisle.
 

Carol H. (229)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 5:20 am
thank you Cal, noted
 

Kay M. (351)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 8:01 am
noted.
 

Allan Yorkowitz (452)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 11:14 am
Since when does an employee who has health coverage have to offer anything about a person's weight?
When I became a teacher, I received insurance -period.
If my brother were to undergo this interrigation, he would be in trouble. He is underweight, yet suffers from incredibly high cholestrol, and blood pressure. How would the insurance companies deal with this?
 

Ravenna C. (20)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 12:06 pm
Well Allan they have an app for that. Not exactly but almost. There are already hospitals using the Verichip,
(FDA Approved in October 2004) which keeps encoded medical information on a chip implanted in the patient. I imagine that in a time not very far into the future the government will mandate that we are each given one of these with pertinent info on them. Such as baseline stats, (labs,vital signs any known drug allergies, sugeries,..etc)
Then it won't just be the hospital accessing the patients chip in an emergency. We all have seen very well (NSA,PRISM) what will happen. The Corporate owned government will allow said corporations to scan prospective employees to see if they are too much of a "liability".
And then, the police will use them to see who is and who isn't using "illegal" drugs (vs. the "legal" ones approved by Big Pharma)
All of this will be just like the Patriot Act. Enacted for our Safety. The same way they are going to finally OPENLY take control of the internet and abolish the 2nd amendment. For our Safety.
 

Esther S. (45)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 12:43 pm
I think it depends on the details. I found out years ago, that some foods will cause your cholesterol to go up and so I changed my eating habits and my cholesterol went down. There are a lot of people who don't care. I have heard people say that they don't have to do that because they can get some medication, etc. I think that everyone should try to eat the right food and also not overeat and become obese. Would they care more about such things if they had to pay for their health costs completely on their own? It somewhat compares this to a child who won't listen to his or her parents.
 

Leann Wells Huber (0)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 1:33 pm
If size/weight is frequently the factor by which health is determined, it isn't necessarily an accurate way to measure how healthy a person is. I know of some people who are larger than me who are quite a bit more healthy. There are so many factors to consider.
 

Joanne Dixon (37)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 2:35 pm
Response to title: Gee, ya think?
 

Donna G. (38)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 3:22 pm
We are human beings, not cookies cut using the same cookie cutter, which means one set of standards can't be applied to all people. I have seen plenty of healthy overweight people. I say overweight because they have a high BMI. But, does that make them unhealthy? Of course not. Most of them do not have diabetes, no lung problems, no medical problems detected by any kind of lab or radiology testing. At the same time, I know a few slender people who are very unhealthy. I have chronic health issues which contribute to my disability. But, eating healthy or not would not impact me positively or negatively.
 

Birgit W. (140)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 3:45 pm
Corporations first brainwash us to eat unhealthy food, and now they want to control us further. Soon, we are all just little puppets.
 

Carol D. (104)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 4:22 pm
I think in the future wherever you are with the ever increasing populations that if you are obese drink smoke etc you wont get proper health care

noted thanks
 

Barbara D. (106)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 4:41 pm
Well, it just may be that *companies* have finally learned that even the most generous incentives are simply not motivating the intended targets. Why shouldn't you be required to document your health status? If you have a legimate medical reason for not meeting the standards all you need for an exemption is an explanatory statement from your physician. Oops, that could be a problem ~ you probably don't bother seeing a physician either.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 5:07 pm
Thanks.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 9:01 pm
As always, agree with Lee!
 

Lloyd H. (46)
Monday June 10, 2013, 6:16 am
First, Verichip/Positive ID. has neither been advertised or manufactured since 2010.
I noticed in the flurry of hysteria, that those cited in the article love to mention that 'Health Care is a Right' but not once did they follow that up with the 'Responsibilities associated with that Right', except as a backhanded dismissal. The patient/health care recipient has a responsibility to actively take part in maintaining a healthy body. And sorry to mention it but Americans in particular have a bad habit of ignoring the responsibilities attending their rights.
 

Ellen G. (0)
Monday June 10, 2013, 11:10 am
I can understand some of the dilemma faced by insurance companies. Americans smoke like chimneys, drink like fish and pop drugs like candy causing a myriad of medical issues. Advertising spends billions, maybe more to keep us drinking and eating unhealthy foods full of sugar and fat as well as salt, plastic and harmful chemicals. Until these issues are addressed they share the responsibility and we can't put entire blame on the people. Also as a person who has lived a hard life I know how difficult it is to eat healthy food. When you have to work 2 jobs just to pay the rent anything inexpensive just to fill the belly and stop the hunger pangs is what you reach for and often that does nothing but make you fat and sick. Until those issues are addressed the insurance companies should not be allowed to penalize those who can not afford to eat healthy food and end up sick and overweight because of it. We need a nutritional program that works as well as education and getting the lobbyists out of Washington who push these products. Spend our tax money on the citizens of this country not to fund illegal and unethical wars or line the pockets of millionaires and companies that are doing this planet and its inhabitants harm.
 
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