Can't We Just Be Fat in Peace?

O.K.  So now they're making heavy people pay more for airline seats.  But now your boss may also make you pay.  OMG, can't we just be fat in peace?

According to a story in today's Wall Street Journal, any man with a waist over 40 inches may wind up eating more of his employer's health care costs, shelling out more for health insurance.  The idea is to penalize people for thick waists and high blood pressure, two of the largest health concerns that cost companies the most, and that you can do something about.

Theoretically.

It makes sense to try to get people to live healthier lives, not just to save money but to help them live longer, too.  But along with NYC's Mayor Michael Bloomberg outlawing Big Gulps (at least, until the courts got their hands on him), and maybe salt, too, the world seems to be deciding more and more the price for being, shall we say, overweight?

It's not just having to bear models with their hip bones sticking out and a constant parade of size 0 actresses, wearing what look like doll clothes when they take them off.  Now we have to be punished for it, too?

As a chubby child (and someone who has fought the weight battle all her life -- hey, I made my Weight Watchers lifetime goal three times!), weight has always been, well, a weighted word for me.  But being heavy comes with a price already, in self-esteeem, confidence and even happiness.  (The six months I was truly skinny were the best in my life so far!)

Do we really want to stigmatize the overweight with yet more disapproval?   I'm sure you know people who just eat more when family members suggest they lose weight.  I'm not sure this is going to help anyone.   Now, instead of your mother slapping your hand when you reach for more cake, your boss might reach across the lunch table and do it, too.

Seriously, do we really need this? I guess, in the end, it makes sense.  But just as I fear stepping on the scale, now many may have to fear just stepping into the office.




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