Date: July 19, 2010 from FoxNews.com
As the Obama administration sets its sights on overweight Americans, demanding obesity ratings for all citizens by 2014, the White House has promoted the Obamas’ personal cook to a senior advisory position.
Sam Kass, the 20-something Chicago chef, is now the White House “Food Initiative Coordinator,” Kass’ title reportedly was upgraded last month from food initiative coordinator to senior policy adviser for health food initiatives. His duties have not changed.
The change comes as the Health and Human Services announced this week that under the stimulus law, health care providers must establish “meaningful use” of electronic health records to qualify for federal subsidies or risk seeing their Medicare and Medicaid payments slashed. The electronic health records must include Americans’ body mass index, or BMI, height and weight.
Critics say the BMI is unreliable and the ratings will lead to more government intrusion.
Supporters say the ratings will serve as motivation for weight loss.
“The fact we’re now tracking BMIs’, I think knowledge is power for us,” nutrition expert Mitzi Dulan told Fox News.”There are a lot of people that don’t know their BMI and it’s denial.
Dulan noted that a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that $147 billion is spent annually on obesity-related costs, or 10 percent of medical costs.
Tell Us What You Think
Is this finally a case where the weight (get it?) of the Federal Government is put in the right place? Or is it one more chip away at personal liberty? After all, what do you think the Federal Government intends to do with this information? Employers are not allowed to not hire or fire people simply because they are obese. Maybe that’s where this is headed. Maybe Ronald McDonald is headed to become the next Surgeon General. Tell us what you think!
CAREY Benefit Associates and Chase Carey has been helping employers for more than 20 years to reduce the cost and the persistence of obesity in the workplace. If it’s time to cut the fat at your place of business, we can most definitely help. Just give us a call at 770.751.6460.