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Old 01-26-2013, 05:18 PM   #1  
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Default Fat People Need Not Apply

Has anyone seen this news report? I was sad when I saw it. I understand to a point what they are trying to do but I am not sure this is the way. If my only value as an employee is based on my weight, do I really want to work there anyways? At this point I am down almost 100lbs and could not even apply there yet.

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Old 01-26-2013, 05:28 PM   #2  
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Disgusting. I'm apalled. I have worked with plenty of healthcare workers whose bmi's were probably greater than 35. Not one patient has ever complained and those employees were just as good as everyone else. In some cases, they worked harder. My nurse managers bmi is prolly over 35 and she rocks!
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:54 PM   #3  
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I am saddened but not surprised. I've been fat all my life and have dealt with both overt and subtle discrimination because of it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:32 PM   #4  
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What is equally sad,are all the comments supporting their stance.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:44 PM   #5  
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People seem to be completely uneducated about why and how someone could become overweight and then have difficulties dealing with it.

Aside from things like compulsive overeating and BED there are other issues, like the fact that it takes time to learn about food and how to take weight off! Yes, eat less and move more sounds simple but if you're eating refined carbs and junk all day if you simply try to eat less junk then you're going to be starving. Beyond that, food and nutrition is confusing and people have many opinions on what is 'healthy' for you.

It's just sad. People really do think overweight people are weak-willed and care nothing for their own health when it's usually the opposite. And you can't know if an overweight person is in the process of losing weight or changing their habits.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:06 AM   #6  
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I feel like I might get flamed for this, but I just wanted to share my opinion... again, it's just my opinion and I understand where some posters here are coming from, but I have a bit of a differing view on it. To be honest, I feel like it's quite reasonable to have that in place.

As a healthcare professional myself (am a junior doctor), overweight (yes, my BMI is currently 28 and I started my journey at a BMI of 40 - definitely work in progress myself!), I absolutely understand why the hospital has put in a BMI cut-off point. There are public expectations of how frontline healthcare professionals should look like - this is inevitable and something I learnt very quickly as a medical student. Blue hair? Unacceptable. Eyebrow piercing? You must be joking. Of course, you could see it as discrimination, but you could also see it from another point of view - which is, whether we as healthcare professionals like it or not, appearance affects public perception of your advice/management. The cut-off for obesity as defined by the WHO is 30, not 35 - so people with a BMI of 35 are not just borderline obese.

I am definitely not of the opinion that there are no brilliant healthcare workers who happen to be obese around, but we also have to have a think about how effective it would be for a heavily obese frontline healthcare professional to talk honestly about lifestyle changes, impact of obesity on health, etc etc. This does NOT reflect anything on whether the obese individual is putting in any effort towards sustainable weightloss for him/herself (which obviously takes a long time as I myself can attest), rather on public expectations of healthcare staff in general.

Again, just an opinion, coming from an overweight healthcare professional - I thought it might be helpful for people to read something from 'the other side' (don't join us, we've got night shifts!).
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:54 AM   #7  
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I do know that people make judgements about healthcare workers and make assumptions about the value of the advice based on someone's appearance. In fact, we had a very overweight diabetes educator in a hospital where I used to work and people would actually make comments like, "if it's so easy, why doesn't she do it" and other things to indicate they felt the dietary advice was somewhat hypocritical and were choosing not to take it seriously. I think, however, that their refusal to accept sound dietary advice based on research and recommendations for their condition and what they themselves know to be true had much more to do with their motivation and readiness to change than it did with the weight of the diabetes educator.

I like to consider both sides and play devil's advocate, but to me the bottom line is that this is discrimination. Hiring should be based on ability to perform the job functions.

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:34 AM   #8  
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I belong to a large HMO and I see many employees there who are quite obese, I always wonder why as I know this HMO offers wieght control classes and some of the hospitals offer WW classes .
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:43 AM   #9  
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wow! Remind me to NEVER move to Texas!!
:Begin Rant:

I'm an RN and can honestly say that probably 2/3 of the staff on my unit alone don't fit this description, let alone the entire hospital!! I have NEVER had a complaint from a patient or even been questioned on it (although, with my own mental hang-ups I have questioned myself as to how I can warn them about their weight while mine isn't fantastic!... hence my new outlook on life!)

If we got rid of all the "overweight" or "obese" people in the healthcare field, we would be severely lacking in all fields!! We're already overworked... hence the 2am lunch runs to get junk from the cafeteria and eating at the station while charting and waiting for medications to finish up!! We're lucky if we get to pee, let alone eat an actual meal!!

This report saddens me. Probably 1/4 of my weight gain was due to being in Nursing school where you're constantly on the run and eating junk!! Ugh... :End rant:
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:49 AM   #10  
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I don't understand just using weight. Physical requirements should trump someone's BMI. If a person can keep up with the demands of a position physically then they shouldn't be shut out of an opportunity.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:41 AM   #11  
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Well, I have two thoughts... first, at least these people are being honest and upfront about their discrimination. I suspect that about 50% of employers do this but waste applicants time by acting like the don't hire based on this as a factor.

Secondly, in this job market, I believe that all employers are actually looking for ways to weed out applicants. There are just too many people applying for positions. Where I work routinely has 400 qualified people for every opening. How do you really deal with that? I got a call for a job interview on Wednesday this week. They told me my only option for an interview was Thursday -- that is it. I could not do that. See, they found a way to weed me out. IMHO this is just another way of doing that.

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:43 AM   #12  
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It doesn't surprise me and it's not limited to this hospital. I remember I had a boss tell me during a "performance appraisal" one time that I needed to lose weight to get ahead in the company. When I asked what my weight had to do with my performance, he said nothing, but that appearance definitely is taken into consideration when raises and promotions are being given out. He told me it was off the record and it wasn't in writing, but it still surprised me. At that point, I was probably in the 210 weight range.

And, I've written in another post that I had a friend who was always discouraging whenever I would lose weight and she freely admitted that she wouldn't be able to look down on me if I got thin. She said that everyone has to have someone to look down upon.

We do have a problem with weight in this country. We need to do a better job about addressing it. But discriminating is not the right approach. Unfortunately, being discriminated against because we are fat is deemed to be "acceptable."
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:32 PM   #13  
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I have been thinking about this article since I posted it when I read it.

Being heavy (or as the article said "fat", I would never call myself or anyone else that) doesn't mean you aren't healthy per se. Yes, I was very very heavy but in reality, and this does scare me to a point, I had no issues or incentive to lose any weight. I'd go to the doctors and I assume they thought they had a "live" one and then my BP would be normal, my cholesterol would be normal, everything was normal. I had no joint issues or physical restrictions (yes fitting places like amusement rides and airplanes was a problem but I just avoided them), except that I didn't workout for exercise.

In the end, I fooled myself thinking that it was ok to be heavy as I ended up getting diagnosed with endometrial cancer which my oncologist team says is directly related to my weight (my body produces excess estrogen because of my fat cells). Maybe I would have been better off if I HAD been denied a job because I was heavy or if I did have high BP or symptoms of diabetes and lost the weight sooner, I'll never know now.

But just because they hire a skinny person, that doesn't mean they won't have health issues.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:43 PM   #14  
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More proof that fat bias is considered the last socially acceptable prejudice.

Sure, people can say it's for health reasons, to set a good example, etc. But I think it still comes down to some people wanting to have a group they can disparage and look down on and those lazy, no will power fat people are the only ones they are allowed to publicly say they are doing it with.

Plus it still remains absurd that BMI - created and designed to applied on a population basis - is being applied to individuals in this manner. BMI alone cannot say whether a particular individual is healthy or not.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:05 PM   #15  
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This is not fair, everyone deserves a chance and in fact whether one is fat or not does not in any way affect his performance at a place of work. Fat employees should instead be encouraged to work on the weight .
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