Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Weighing in on the Alabama Obesity Debate

Here is a headline from Alabama in mid-July:

Alabama Obesity Ranking (WBHM - NPR News and Classical Music)

Montgomery -- Alabama has once again been ranked as one of the most obese states in the country. The latest survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Mississippi was the most obese state, with 32 percent of adults having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. Alabama followed closely in the number two spot with 30.3 percent of adults being obese.
It was in all the local papers and local news shows too.

Then we have the latest:

Alabama workers to pay for extra pounds - Diet and nutrition-

"MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama, pushed to second in national obesity rankings by deep-fried Southern favorites, is cracking down on state workers who are too fat.

The state has given its 37,527 employees a year to start getting fit — or they’ll pay $25 a month for insurance that otherwise is free."
Suspiciously I have seen this all over the net but nothing has been reported on it on the local level.

I live in Alabama---big surprise :)

Granted it's a itty bitty college town smack dab in the middle of the state. Yet we do get Birmingham's TV, radio and newspapers.

This latest makes as much sense as that absurd law in Mississippi did earlier this year. I could go on and on how idiotic this whole thing is. But others, who are much better writers have done it for me. Check these posts out then contact the Alabama State Employee's Insurance Board and let them know how you feel.

Alabama | Big Fat Blog

Two Things « Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose

Junkfood Science: Taking a step back and thinking about the real story

Junkfood Science: Update: More than a little plan — the trial balloon is off and flying


Suzique said...

I am an employee of the fine state of Bamalama, and we have been told absolutely NOTHING about this, nor have the Alabama dailies, other than one short editorial in the B'ham News, written about it at all. I've blogged about it a couple of times myself. When they place an insurance surcharge on people who drink alcohol, have diabetes or another chronic illness, or drive too fast without a seatbelt...THEN will I stop complaining!

Fat Acceptance said...

Alabama does charge smokers a similar surcharge. Alcohol in moderation isn't bad for you. Chronic illnesses are generally not preventable conditions. Driving too fast without a seatbelt will ensure that you won't use much health insurance but would be an issue for life insurance companies. This rule directly covers those with type 2 diabetes by aiming to reduce problems caused by obesity. Type 1 diabetes is unpreventable and not a byproduct of lifestyle so it would be difficult to lump the two together. Most importantly obesity, like smoking, is totally preventable and largely reversible, so it is in the best interest of those who participate in a shared risk program (health insurance) to target.