Everyone knows that there are two sure things in life – death and taxes.
Well, you can add a third – that you can make money off the back of fat people.
A somewhat recent entry is the “wellness” industry.
These are folks who go to other businesses and recommend wellness programs for the employees – supposedly because this will improve employees’ health and reduce healthcare costs to the business.
What they are really pushing are diets.
Because the main measure of “success” in a wellness program is loss of weight.
Not only is loss of weight not necessarily a predictor of better health, but the wellness program causes weight stigma in the workplace.
And weight stigma is definitely bad for a fat person’s health.
Research is starting to show that it may be the basis of some “obesity-related” health conditions.
In fact it’s bad for anyone who has an unhealthy relationship with the size of their own body.
Just think how “special” a fat worker feels when the whole company decides to target fat bodies!
How about any co-workers who happen to suffer from eating disorders?
Yeah, your “wellness” program is going to do wonders for them.
How about instead of paying for the wellness program, instead you take some office space and install some exercise equipment? Or use that money to supply your employees with memberships to a close by gym? Have some kind of fun activity for your employees.
Movement is good for every body, but one size does not fit all.
If you are going to have an activity, you also want to make sure it is accessible to all and/or that it can be enjoyed without causing stigma to those who choose not to avail themselves of it.
And truth be told, an employee’s health is their own business – what right does the employer have to stick their noses into it?
In my opinion, as long as the work is getting done, the rest of an employee’s life is not subject to control by the employer.
(And yes, I know, there are certain instances where an employee’s personal actions may affect their employment status – like if they do something illegal – and the employer has a remedy for that – terminate the employment.)
It used to be, and not that long ago, when you went to work for a company, you planned to be there for life. You and the company had a partnership – you made the company money and the company took care of you.
Now, most corporations are way more concerned about making money for their shareholders (in fact, they have a legal obligation to do so – or the shareholders can sue); so they have a fucking nerve to demand their employees maintain a certain kind of lifestyle (or body type).
When some people at my office decided to have a weight loss contest, I told them that I didn’t want to hear about it and asked that they create a group where people could join – because some people might be triggered by the weight loss/diet talk. Boy did I get push back from that – and I got some positive response from people who were not comfortable with the whole thing but didn’t feel they could speak up (seldom my problem), and eventually, my (wholly reasonable) requests were met.