Should Hospitals Ban Fat Employees?

Our health care professionals have been haranguing us for years to lose a few pounds - so is it fair for us to expect that people working for the hospital to be, well, not fat?

Citizens Medical Center, a Texas healthcare facility, is walking the walk: they're refusing to hire fatties (people with body mass index over 35, classified as severely obese):

Officials say the measure is meant to promote healthy living, so that employees can set an example for patients. The rule is legal in Texas, and the medical center is hardly the first company to institute weight-related policies — in 2010 grocery chain Whole Foods started offering workers with low BMIs better employee discounts. Considering how hard it is for anyone to get a job these days, should hospitals be able to reject applicants based on their weight?

So - what do you think? Is it discrimination for hospitals not to hire people because of their weight? Link


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Clearly, it is discrimination. The question is whether it is *illegal* discrimination, or even whether it is *immoral* discrimination.

I think, from a practical perspective, it's an excellent idea. I suspect it will also reduce insurance premiums for the employees as a group.
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Ugh, I'm so sick of BMI being used as a measure of one's health. There are plenty of people that would be considered "overweight" on the BMI scale who eat healthy and exercise and probably even more people who are in the "healthy" BMI range who eat junk all the time and hardly ever exercise. This policy would be extremely discriminatory. And calling heavy people "fatties" is also incredibly insulting.
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Alarming to think that my entire life's work could end tomorrow based on how I look or even my general lifespan. I put myself through school and then grad school to become a highly trained, intelligent, medical professional. I would hate to think a short sighted, non medical hospital administrator could end the career of someone with many years experience.
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They are going to have a hard time hiring people. Most of the students in medical career training school seem to be overweight. Maybe overweight people are more caring than skinny ones.
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Assuming the BMI translates into better health, and assuming hospitals are in the business of promoting better health, then this sounds like a perfect excuse for hospital corporations to save money on their employee health care costs by hiring those with presumably lower health risks. Nothing cynical at all about that, huh?
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