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Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:27 AM

How your bad diet may weigh on your job review (Is your company watching your weight?)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-your-company-watching-your-weight-2013-02-25

Your company already knows whether you’ve been taking your meds, getting your teeth cleaned and going for regular medical checkups. Now some employers or their insurance companies are tracking what staffers eat, where they shop and how much weight they’re putting on — and taking action to keep them in line.

The goal, say employers, is to lower health-care and insurance costs while also helping workers. Last month, 1,600 employees at four U.S. workplaces, including the City of Houston, strapped on armbands that track their exercise habits, calories burned and vital signs, part of a diabetes-prevention program run by insurer Cigna CI +1.90% . Some diabetic AT&T T +1.01% employees also use mobile monitors; in September, AT&T also started selling to employers blood-pressure cuffs and other devices to track wearers 24/7.

But companies have also started scrutinizing employees’ other behavior more discreetly. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina recently began buying spending data on more than 3 million people in its employer group plans. If someone, say, purchases plus-size clothing, the health plan could flag him for potential obesity—and then call or send mailings offering weight-loss solutions.

Marketing firms have sold this data to retailers and credit-card companies for years, and health plans have recently discovered they can use it to augment claims data. “Everybody is using these databases to sell you stuff,” says Daryl Wansink, director of health economics for the Blue Cross unit. “We happen to be trying to sell you something that can get you healthier.”

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply How your bad diet may weigh on your job review (Is your company watching your weight?) (Original post)
antigop Feb 2013 OP
Still Blue in PDX Feb 2013 #1
sinkingfeeling Feb 2013 #2
Still Blue in PDX Feb 2013 #3
southernyankeebelle Feb 2013 #4
Brigid Feb 2013 #5
Mutatis Mutandis Feb 2013 #8
fitman Feb 2013 #6
Brigid Feb 2013 #7
area51 Mar 2013 #9

Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:49 AM

1. My employer is very overt about it.

We get annual bonuses (not a lot, but I'll take it!) based on the "health" of the organization, and part of the criteria is the percentage of people who complete a personal health assessment. So of course people fill them out because we want money.

The more naive of my coworkers see it as our employer caring about us. I think it is just plain intrusive, but I like the bonuses, too, so I'll do it. They also give us nonunion hourly people a $600 "work/life balance" allowance to use as we like toward things like exercise equipment, workout clothing, $100 for each 40-hour week of vacation, WeightWatchers--all kinds of things to enhance our physical and mental health--and the health assessment is mandatory to receive that.

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Response to Still Blue in PDX (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:23 AM

2. That work/life balanace allowance is really nice.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:31 AM

3. It is AWESOME. nt

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Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:52 AM

4. OK just get it over with and line us up like little soldiers and have us open our mouths,

 

have us bend over and check us, listen to our heartbeats. Then if you hire us just go ahead and put that tracker braclet on us and get it over with. I find this totally minding my own business. It's like Orwell 1984 movie. This should scare the hell out of people. Before long everyone will be required to wear tracking braclets so our city, state and fed government can keep track of us.

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Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:59 AM

5. George Orwell was right about Big Brother.

He was just wrong about who Big Brother would be. He didn't know it would turn out to be one's employer. I worry about the younger generation growing up being used to this kind of constant monitoring. Watching what size clothes you buy? Good Lord.

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Response to Brigid (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:47 PM

8. you haven't seen anything yet, wait till smart dust, nanobots, Planetary Skin etc permeate

 

http://robotics.eecs.berkeley.edu/~pister/SmartDust/

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8767-enzyme-computer-could-live-inside-you.html

also, the Panetary Skin project

http://www.axiomatica.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=438&Itemid=

and finally:

DARPA http://www.darpa.mil , Big Brother, Video Game Psychology & Obedient Humans living inside Skinner Boxes, from the DICE 2010 Summit.








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Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:18 AM

6. I work in the health insurance biz

 

and this kinda stuff is going to be commonplace in 5 years..employers are cracking down on unfit employees. The insurance co's are pushing it on the employers....but the employers are looking at saved $$$ and employees are expendible today.

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Response to fitman (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:37 PM

7. Just another way . . .

The corporate state controls our lives. Makes me want to buy one of those old missile silos out on the Great Plains, move in, and just hide out.

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Response to antigop (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 04:06 AM

9. The company I work for is moving in this direction.

Will the heads of the republinazis explode when they realize that their favorite private, for-profit health care system is turning into Big Brother? They were so afraid that single-payer would do something like this, but we didn't get single-payer from Obama & congress, we got GingrichCare with no public option. It's the private, unregulated companies which are doing this.

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