I wish I wasn’t surprised by this breaking news about Whole Foods. Sadly, I think we’ll see a lot more of this kind of wrong-headedness in the next couple of years. Which means we have to be as clear, as vocal, and as convincing as we can to stem the tide.
Whole Foods will offer steeper employee discounts to people with lower BMIs.
If your BMI is above 30, you’ll get to keep the original 20% employee discount, but you’ll paying more than your thinner co-workers, who can knock as much as 30% off.
Don’t miss John Mackey’s letter to his employees at the link. Some of you may remember Mr. Mackey for his especially nasty, wrong-headed, and elitist screed against health care reform last summer. Well, now that it looks like he’s going to get at least some of his way, he’s got fish to fry closer to home.
I don’t have to remind Body Impolitic readers that BMI is a bullshit measurement that means nothing, do I?
I already don’t shop at Whole Foods, because I care about union issues. Also because, as Anna at Jezebel puts it so well at the link above, I don’t need to pay $37 per organic oyster mushroom.”
I know three people who work at Whole Foods. Two of them are a couple, which is amusing, because the wife’s BMI is way over 30 and the husband’s is way under. So they can save money by having him do the shopping. The other is a man whose BMI is also over 30, so he’s out of luck on the discounts.
Anna nails it at the end of her post:
“If public health research has taught us anything, it’s that reducing people’s buying power totally makes them healthier. Stay classy, Whole Foods.”