From Susie: Keeping Score

susie-gharibI like keeping score. School grades. Tennis. And most of all, body weight. Every morning I start the day by getting on the scale. That number will dictate what I eat and how much I exercise that day. One year my sister gave me the Withings digital scale for my birthday. The best present. So now, not only can I get that number for my weight, but also BMI and fat mass. Then all that data is uploaded to my iPad so I can track my progress. Those scores motivate me and keep me healthy.

Sound excessive? Maybe. But maybe not, considering a new policy from CVS that could impact Americans’ health issues. CVS is requiring all of its 200,000 employees who participate in the company’s health insurance plan to get a health screening that assesses their weight, height, body fat, and cholesterol levels. If workers refuse the screening, they will pay a $600 annual penalty.

Critics say it’s a coercive and invasive thing to ask employees to do. Others say this will motivate people to get healthier and will lead to a healthier workforce. Personally, I wouldn’t mind giving those vital stats to my employer, especially if it would help bring down what I have to pay in insurance premiums. It’s hard to know if I would feel the same way if I were overweight or if I had a medical condition that didn’t let me lose weight or exercise. Tyler and I had a lively debate about this in tonight’s program with two experts with opposing views.

What do you think? How would you feel if your company copied CVS’s policy? Is Corporate America getting into dangerous territory by deciding what is “healthy”? How do we solve the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and how do we work together to bring down those huge healthcare costs? Rewards? Penalties? Something else? I would like to hear your opinions.

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