In an interview with Supermarket News, Wegman said the right measurements must be in place to win the war on fat. Specifically, who is measuring and tracking people’s health? Wegman said there are a lot of programs, but no one knows if they’re working.
Wegmans is monitoring its own 44,000 workers. Wegmans stopped selling tobacco products and offers employees a variety of food and exercise programs. It’s using specific measurements to track success. Supermarket News reports:
So what’s been the impact of all this? Danny noted that in measuring results, Wegmans focuses on high blood pressure over weight, because it’s a less charged topic, and the necessary lifestyle changes have a beneficial impact on weight as well. The retailer began measuring results in 2008, and most recently reported that the percentage of its employees with high blood pressure has dropped from 24% in 2008 to about 14% today.
Meanwhile, even though Wegmans hasn’t specifically focused on weight, it does track body mass index, and found the percentage of its employees with healthy weights rose from 29% to 40% in the same period, and those considered obese dropped from 32% to 25%.
So what is Danny urging? “As individual companies we should be measuring these things,” he said. “Communities should be measuring these things. Then we’d begin to see how we can make a difference.”
His recommendation is that companies focus on five standard measures: blood pressure, body mass index, sugar, cholesterol and smoking versus nonsmoking.
How would you feel if your company, which may subsidize your health insurance, measure you? While this raises privacy questions, it’s possible there could be an opt-out provision.
Links of the Day:
– Governor Cuomo is floating the idea of a non-Indian casino in Niagara Falls. The move could get the Senecas to pay money they’re withholding from the state. The tribe believes video slots at racetracks violates its gaming compact.
– The University of Rochester has an old swimming pool that’s now filled with chairs and desks. Check out these eerie photos.
– The Albany Times Union contrasts two very different neighborhoods and points out more of America is divided by class.
– Health care aides are awaiting a decision on whether they can get minimum wage and overtime.
– The New York Times profiled the case of a young man who killed himself after a long addiction to ADHD medication. It’s a sad, infuriating read.