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(Daily Mail)   Texas hospital refuses to hire anyone with a body mass index of more than 35. In other words, no Americans need apply   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 258
    More: Asinine, Texas Tribune, job hunting, Mr. Brown, Texas, health care providers  
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9844 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Apr 2012 at 5:23 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-07 12:05:31 AM  
Great, now it's only a matter of time before Republican state legislators require all abortion doctors to have a BMI under 10.
 
2012-04-07 12:14:51 AM  
Crap, my BMI is 35.3. Sucks to be a fatass.
 
2012-04-07 12:31:48 AM  
BMIs don't take muscle mass into account either. During his Mr Universe days, a BMI would have said that Arnold Schwarzenegger was overweight based on his muscle mass.
 
2012-04-07 12:50:07 AM  
Come on Subby, that doesn't exclude Americans. We're not all lardasses.

Texans, however...
 
2012-04-07 12:52:43 AM  

Bathia_Mapes: BMIs don't take muscle mass into account either. During his Mr Universe days, a BMI would have said that Arnold Schwarzenegger was overweight based on his muscle mass.


But 35? That's pretty farking fat.
 
2012-04-07 12:55:29 AM  
What? They got tired of having to lube the doorways so the tubbies could get through?
 
2012-04-07 02:20:45 AM  
Heh... I can think of a few nurses where I work that would be out the door, including one who is at least 400 pounds. She's already on modified light work because she can't perform a lot of the duties of a nurse. We have LOTS of resources for employee health... including a few hundred dollars to use for gym memberships, Weight Watchers, or fitness classes each year; discounted bariatric surgery; etc. Lots ignore it.

However, I have to wonder about their claim that they're doing this because healthcare workers should be examples of good health. Are they going to fire people who smoke, as well? Nothing worse than being stuck in a hospital bed with a nurse who reeks of tobacco.
 
2012-04-07 05:35:07 AM  
You don't get to a BMI of 35 by walking up and down the halls taking care of patients. There are a couple of nurses I work with who are obese and they are invariably found sitting behind the desk. In this field there is ALWAYS something to do and if you're sitting down that something is not being done. I'd say that BMI may just be an indicator of work ethic.

Now, I'm attacked for not understanding, I do. My metabolism isn't such that I can put away a box of twinkies and a gallon of ice cream without gaining weight. On days that I work I can put away some food without it affecting my weight... Now off to finish getting ready for work.

/Nurse
 
2012-04-07 05:35:52 AM  

AcneVulgaris: But 35? That's pretty farking fat.


I don't know. At my height (6'1), that's only a weight of 265 pounds. That's a lot if you're fat yes, but it really wouldn't be unreasonable for someone that played football professionally, got injured, and decided to work in physical rehabilitation or sports medicine or something to have a BMI over 35 while having a body fat percentage that was average or below-average.

BMI is outdated. Our knowledge has advanced since it was created, and it's time to drop it for a better metric.
 
2012-04-07 05:36:18 AM  
if this hospital can staff itself with medical professionals who walk the walk and talk the talk they should challenge the local PD, houses of worship and government to do the same.

as for body mass they can easily see a fit person who does not comply to a chart,
that really shouldn't be an issue.
 
2012-04-07 05:37:37 AM  
Still like all those tobacco laws, fatties?
 
2012-04-07 05:39:38 AM  
makes sense to me..
 
2012-04-07 05:41:47 AM  
This is for health reasons people. This is no different from when they banned nurses from having long fingernails because numerous infection causing bacteria love hiding under nails. Now, thanks to this proactive policy, patients won't catch obesity from slovenly medical staff.
 
2012-04-07 05:47:29 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: BMI is outdated. Our knowledge has advanced since it was created, and it's time to drop it for a better metric.


I imagine that if BMI were to be correlated with any real-life useful statistic, it would be longevity of life. Even great athletes who have a high BMI due to muscle mass often die early. It also seems that many people who live extraordinarily long lives were not only relatively slender (though I won't necessarily say frail or slight) with a decent BMI, but they were also not "big" by any human measure.

A body CAN be overworked, and I think we're going to see that in 50 years in this country. Everybody is busy worrying about their body fat, so they're running a couple miles and lifting weights instead of doing things that humans have generally done for thousands of years in order to stay in shape. People believe that a couple hours at the gym will make up for 8 hours in the office in this generation, and it's eventually going to come back to bite a lot of people, IMHO.
 
2012-04-07 05:48:29 AM  
A. Nice to see that technical education is being practiced in other countries. It is stupid that ALL kids are taught a "college prep" curriculum, and that technical education is totally abandoned. An 11 year old motorcycle mechanic impresses me.
B. Italy spent the income of future generations by deficit spending. This is the natural result. This WILL happen here unless fiscal conservatism is restored in our country.
C. In a truly free education system, you should be able to get your choice INCLUDING art, technology, trades, music, science, math, and languages. One reason home school works so well is that parents are able to individualize education to the desires and needs of the student. This is a pragmatic impossibility in an institutionalized classroom. But no child left behind, designed by Democrat Teddy Kennedy, btw, has severely limited educational options for most students.
 
2012-04-07 05:48:31 AM  

Ed Finnerty: Still like all those tobacco laws, fatties?


Still never heard of a "fat break" every hour at work.
 
2012-04-07 05:49:10 AM  
Oh Texas... I love how you are always trying to one-up your own stupidity.
 
2012-04-07 05:49:19 AM  

Farked_in_the_NW: You don't get to a BMI of 35 by walking up and down the halls taking care of patients.


FYI: No one has ever lost weight by walking up and down the halls. Anyone who thinks that's how weight management works should not be making any decisions related to obesity.

If there's some genuine job requirement that prevents fat people from doing the job, I have no problem with a policy excluding them. I'd even settle for a correlation between poor job performance and high BMI. But baring those conditions it's just as fraking retarded to refuse jobs to fat people as it is to refuse jobs to redheads.
 
2012-04-07 05:49:26 AM  
oops wrong thread...
 
2012-04-07 05:52:54 AM  

puffy999: Ed Finnerty: Still like all those tobacco laws, fatties?

Still never heard of a "fat break" every hour at work.


I have. It's for one or more of the following:
- Get more candy from the vending machine
- Take a "snack break"
- Make some cocoa (because we don't have sugar for the coffee)
- Invent endless pot-lucks and do nothing all day but hover around the cafeteria eating anything that isn't bolted down
- Take a 2 hour nasty dump that stinks up the building with Burger King stench
 
2012-04-07 05:55:09 AM  

Ed Finnerty: - Get more candy from the vending machine
- Take a "snack break"
- Make some cocoa (because we don't have sugar for the coffee)
- Invent endless pot-lucks and do nothing all day but hover around the cafeteria eating anything that isn't bolted down
- Take a 2 hour nasty dump that stinks up the building with Burger King stench


I've seen all of this behavior from all shapes and sizes of employee.

Again, I have never heard of a "fat break." I HAVE heard of a smoke break. I know that smoke breaks were a part of some NAVAL institutions within the past 25 years. Yes, the US Navy.
 
2012-04-07 05:56:24 AM  

puffy999: Ed Finnerty: - Get more candy from the vending machine
- Take a "snack break"
- Make some cocoa (because we don't have sugar for the coffee)
- Invent endless pot-lucks and do nothing all day but hover around the cafeteria eating anything that isn't bolted down
- Take a 2 hour nasty dump that stinks up the building with Burger King stench

I've seen all of this behavior from all shapes and sizes of employee.

Again, I have never heard of a "fat break." I HAVE heard of a smoke break. I know that smoke breaks were a part of some NAVAL institutions within the past 25 years. Yes, the US Navy.


Fair enough.

When it's illegal to be fat inside, you'll see your "fat breaks".
 
2012-04-07 05:57:37 AM  
There was no "okay, everyone who is too fat to fit into their pants this morning, you get 10 minutes out of every 60 minutes, if not every 30 minutes, to go outside and loiter."

Fat people just take more breaks, for the mostpart. Just like lazy people. Just like managers. I've never heard of an independent class get their own breaks because of a vice. Everyone else has to sneak theirs, like a good red-blooded American.
 
2012-04-07 05:58:52 AM  

Ed Finnerty: When it's illegal to be fat inside, you'll see your "fat breaks".


Until fat becomes a vapor, it's just not the same.

There are no "boombox breaks" at work, either, where I get 10 minutes every 60 minutes to listen to crappy music at an unreasonable volume.
 
2012-04-07 06:00:39 AM  

Farked_in_the_NW: You don't get to a BMI of 35 by walking up and down the halls taking care of patients. There are a couple of nurses I work with who are obese and they are invariably found sitting behind the desk. In this field there is ALWAYS something to do and if you're sitting down that something is not being done. I'd say that BMI may just be an indicator of work ethic.


I would have thought irregular hours also have something to do with it. A lot of microwave dinners, sure, but also having their circadian rhythm out of whack.
 
2012-04-07 06:00:47 AM  

puffy999: There was no "okay, everyone who is too fat to fit into their pants this morning, you get 10 minutes out of every 60 minutes, if not every 30 minutes, to go outside and loiter."

Fat people just take more breaks, for the mostpart. Just like lazy people. Just like managers. I've never heard of an independent class get their own breaks because of a vice. Everyone else has to sneak theirs, like a good red-blooded American.


I hear what you're saying. I've seen the same thing. I've known a lot of people who never smoke at work, and smokers who take endless breaks.

I think we all know the real problem: People who eat egg-salad for lunch.
 
2012-04-07 06:02:27 AM  
BMI is a useful tool as a starting place, but to use it as an absolute is a bit stupid because, as others have said, it's just a part of the big picture and can be flawed in some cases. I'm a woman with 20.5% body fat and a BMI of 23.6 -- if I said the BMI alone, people would probably picture someone a lot softer around the edges than I actually am. At 0% body fat, I would still be in the "healthy" BMI range if I kept all my lean muscle mass. Pffft.

That being said, I do feel that 35 is high enough that there would be very few exceptions in terms of whether or not someone was obese...

I wish we would move to % body fat instead of weight as a way to measure health. Much more reliable indicator.
 
2012-04-07 06:02:43 AM  

Bathia_Mapes: BMIs don't take muscle mass into account either. During his Mr Universe days, a BMI would have said that Arnold Schwarzenegger was overweight based on his muscle mass.


Why would someone with so much muscle work in a hospital?

It would probably end up breaking carts and keyboards.
 
2012-04-07 06:02:49 AM  

Farked_in_the_NW: You don't get to a BMI of 35 by walking up and down the halls taking care of patients. There are a couple of nurses I work with who are obese and they are invariably found sitting behind the desk. In this field there is ALWAYS something to do and if you're sitting down that something is not being done. I'd say that BMI may just be an indicator of work ethic.

Now, I'm attacked for not understanding, I do. My metabolism isn't such that I can put away a box of twinkies and a gallon of ice cream without gaining weight. On days that I work I can put away some food without it affecting my weight... Now off to finish getting ready for work.

/Nurse


I seriously resent the assumption that a BMI would have ANYTHING to do with a person's work ethic. My father was a very large man who struggled with his weight for his whole life, and he was the hardest worker I've ever known. In fact he worked himself into an early grave, which being 9 years old I REALLY appreciated.... That man couldn't say no to anything or anyone. "Tony, I need some help cleaning my gutters..." "Tony, can you give me a ride to Mexico to escape the cops?" He'd do anything for anyone and never took a rest in his life. I won't sit here and have people say "fat = lazy" because it IS NOT true.
 
2012-04-07 06:03:18 AM  
According to TFA, it's more about "personal appearance" than overall healthiness. Which in the big scheme of things is not much different than having an official policy of not hiring folks with visible tattoos. I don't agree with either, but it's more understandable on a social level than actually using the BMI scale as a scientific way of gauging obesity, which everyone knows is bunk.

The weird thing to me is that 35 is actually on the low end of "obesity" on the BMI scale. Someone who is just hovering around that number would only be "moderately obese". Even for a non-athletic, sedentary person and not just a bodybuilder with all kinds of muscle/bone variables complicating the scale, that's still not THAT fat. At least, not enough to look reasonably "unprofessional" in a nurse outfit. But that's subjective.
 
2012-04-07 06:06:44 AM  
In Texas this movie would not be possible today:

3.bp.blogspot.com

I weep for our future.
 
2012-04-07 06:07:34 AM  
Job Application for the hospital in question: http://citizensmedicalcenter.org/docs/careers/EmploymentApplication.pd f
Nowhere on the form does it ask for BMI.

This means....

1.) This article is probably entirely bull*&#

2.) If it's not entirely b.s. - the people involved in hiring will visually determine if you are a lard ass. All of the arguments about professional bodybuilders and BMI not being perfect are irrelevant. Someone will look at your fat ass and decide if you are a fat ass.
 
2012-04-07 06:07:56 AM  

batcookie: I seriously resent the assumption that a BMI would have ANYTHING to do with a person's work ethic. My father was a very large man who struggled with his weight for his whole life, and he was the hardest worker I've ever known. In fact he worked himself into an early grave, which being 9 years old I REALLY appreciated.... That man couldn't say no to anything or anyone. "Tony, I need some help cleaning my gutters..." "Tony, can you give me a ride to Mexico to escape the cops?" He'd do anything for anyone and never took a rest in his life. I won't sit here and have people say "fat = lazy" because it IS NOT true.


It used to be an indicator of laziness when people worked in physical jobs all day and there wasn't that much caloric dense foods.

Now, fatness is an indicator of bad eating habits. The modern idea of weight loss is that exercise alone cannot lead to weight loss, it is a great complement but eating right is the main source.
 
2012-04-07 06:19:49 AM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: http://citizensmedicalcenter.org/docs/careers/EmploymentApplication.p d f


Maybe they'll determine the applicant's BMI during the required medical exam?
From the application: "A medical examination, as stipulated by Citizens Medical Center policies, is required for employment."
 
2012-04-07 06:21:16 AM  

batcookie: Farked_in_the_NW: You don't get to a BMI of 35 by walking up and down the halls taking care of patients. There are a couple of nurses I work with who are obese and they are invariably found sitting behind the desk. In this field there is ALWAYS something to do and if you're sitting down that something is not being done. I'd say that BMI may just be an indicator of work ethic.

Now, I'm attacked for not understanding, I do. My metabolism isn't such that I can put away a box of twinkies and a gallon of ice cream without gaining weight. On days that I work I can put away some food without it affecting my weight... Now off to finish getting ready for work.

/Nurse

I seriously resent the assumption that a BMI would have ANYTHING to do with a person's work ethic. My father was a very large man who struggled with his weight for his whole life, and he was the hardest worker I've ever known. In fact he worked himself into an early grave, which being 9 years old I REALLY appreciated.... That man couldn't say no to anything or anyone. "Tony, I need some help cleaning my gutters..." "Tony, can you give me a ride to Mexico to escape the cops?" He'd do anything for anyone and never took a rest in his life. I won't sit here and have people say "fat = lazy" because it IS NOT true.


It's very difficult to objectively define something like 'work ethic'....it means different things to different people. Same with 'lazy'. What, specifically, does that mean? Lots of things to lots of different people.

And, whenever you talk about large populations of people, even when there is a statistically significant correlation; there is the possibility of exceptions (in fact, they're expected).

So, the fact that your Dad was both obese and a hard worker does little to address the work ethic of obese people compared to non-obese people. But there are scientific studies that do suggest some of the bias employers have against obese employees is, at least partially, justified:

Studies performed at the University of Alberta reported that workplace absenteeism rises in direct relation to an employee's weight
http://www.livestrong.com/article/540556-obesity-looking-for-work/
 
2012-04-07 06:21:42 AM  
memearchive.net

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-04-07 06:22:09 AM  
People with a BMI of 35 aren't starving for lack of a job, anyway.
 
2012-04-07 06:22:27 AM  
I'm amazed when I find anyone in the medical profession who thinks the BMI nonsense has any validity.

Go pick some taller than average athletes who are in very good shape and apply the BMI nonsense to them, I'll bet you'll find most are considered obese. Like Michael Jordan, listed as six foot six inches and 216 pounds. His BMI is 25 so he's overweight.
 
2012-04-07 06:25:23 AM  

KrispyKritter: they should challenge the local PD


Gawd, have you ever watched "COPS"? They make hospital nurses look like stick figures.
 
2012-04-07 06:25:58 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: 265 pounds.


.
.
Lying to yourself isn't going to help. Get a hyperactive dog and start walking it twice per day. I used to be like you. Get a pedometer and slowly work up to 10,000 steps per day. Take it slow, one step at a time. It took me months to get up to the 10k mark.

You may be able to download a pedometer app of you have one of those so called smart phones.
 
2012-04-07 06:29:14 AM  

Yoyo: Fark_Guy_Rob: http://citizensmedicalcenter.org/docs/careers/EmploymentApplication.p d f

Maybe they'll determine the applicant's BMI during the required medical exam?
From the application: "A medical examination, as stipulated by Citizens Medical Center policies, is required for employment."


Nothing quoted in the article from the hospital says 'BMI' specifically. It talks about appearance and 'specific mental projection'. I can't find anything official (outside of the dailyFail) that says anything about BMI requirements.

I find it hard to believe that there are rigid BMI requirements and that a world class athlete would be overlooked because of it.

Since the initial application doesn't include BMI; at the very least, you can reasonably expect to interact with people in person *BEFORE* going for your medical test. Like a drug test, it's not done before they talk to.

I have to believe that these medical professionals working at a medical hospital know as much about BMI and obesity as the average guy on Fark.
 
2012-04-07 06:31:01 AM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: batcookie: Farked_in_the_NW: You don't get to a BMI of 35 by walking up and down the halls taking care of patients. There are a couple of nurses I work with who are obese and they are invariably found sitting behind the desk. In this field there is ALWAYS something to do and if you're sitting down that something is not being done. I'd say that BMI may just be an indicator of work ethic.

Now, I'm attacked for not understanding, I do. My metabolism isn't such that I can put away a box of twinkies and a gallon of ice cream without gaining weight. On days that I work I can put away some food without it affecting my weight... Now off to finish getting ready for work.

/Nurse

I seriously resent the assumption that a BMI would have ANYTHING to do with a person's work ethic. My father was a very large man who struggled with his weight for his whole life, and he was the hardest worker I've ever known. In fact he worked himself into an early grave, which being 9 years old I REALLY appreciated.... That man couldn't say no to anything or anyone. "Tony, I need some help cleaning my gutters..." "Tony, can you give me a ride to Mexico to escape the cops?" He'd do anything for anyone and never took a rest in his life. I won't sit here and have people say "fat = lazy" because it IS NOT true.

It's very difficult to objectively define something like 'work ethic'....it means different things to different people. Same with 'lazy'. What, specifically, does that mean? Lots of things to lots of different people.

And, whenever you talk about large populations of people, even when there is a statistically significant correlation; there is the possibility of exceptions (in fact, they're expected).

So, the fact that your Dad was both obese and a hard worker does little to address the work ethic of obese people compared to non-obese people. But there are scientific studies that do suggest some of the bias employers have against obese employees is, at least partially, justified:

...


You know, that's the second time someone's brought up an article mentioning this study, yet NO ONE seems to be able to link me to the actual study itself. I wanna know their methods, sample size, etc. That mysterious study seems to be the ONLY thing supporting your view that this trend even applies to the population at large.
 
2012-04-07 06:32:16 AM  
Well since it is on appearance only, as in fat employees appear unhealthy, I expect they'll get rid of all smokers immediately. Oh what's that? A lot of your best surgeons like to smoke, despite knowing it is bad for them? Then shut the fark up.

I'm 100% ok with getting rid of employees who can't do their job for whatever reason, including being too fat. Certainly there are jobs that require you to be in a certain level of fitness. I suppose I could also understand, though not really support, if a healthcare provider required all their employees to be healthy as role models.

However singling out one group and saying "We don't like you because you are bad role models," it stupid. You want a ban? Fine, do it right. No fat people, no anorexics, no smokers, no binge drinkers, etc, etc. Require everyone to follow a strict healthy regimen.

Of course that won't work, so they don't do it.
 
2012-04-07 06:32:41 AM  
The only thing that bothers me about this is that I *think* it's from a british news source and it's reinforcing stereotypes about Americans. They keep saying that Americans are fat and maybe we are, but at least we don't let ugly people on TV.

The article on the right claimed that 65% of Americans are obese, not just over weight. I find this hard to believe.
 
2012-04-07 06:33:39 AM  

RancidSorbet: Heh... I can think of a few nurses where I work that would be out the door, including one who is at least 400 pounds


That sounds like one of the charge nurses where I used to work. I hated her. One of the laziest, most worthless person, I've ever met. And yeah about a quarter of the OR staff probably wouldn't qualify for employment.
 
2012-04-07 06:33:51 AM  
Someone obese (fat obese, not with a high BMI because they're a bodybuilder) is going to have more difficulty doing a job where they're on their feet most of the day and dealing with patients. But I think this is probably more about the unfortunate reality that an obese health professional is going to seem less competent, because people are prejudiced about others' unhealthy lifestyle choices. And you can't hide your gluttony+laziness unhealthy lifestyle choice when you're obese, and this is going to be highlighted in a health care setting.

(Let me pre-empt the people who are going to claim that obesity is not somehow the result of a series of choices undertaken by an individual. You can treat thyroid problems and almost all medical problems that have weight gain side-effects. You can also treat psychological issues like compulsive overeating. Yes, there are issues with lack of recreational opportunities in impoverished communities, and there are people who don't have access to health care. But this is less likely to be the circumstances for the population we're discussing.)

Is this policy right, though? No... it's incredibly douchey. A hospital is not American Apparel.
 
2012-04-07 06:34:27 AM  
I hate fat people

/there I said it
 
2012-04-07 06:34:39 AM  

Befuddled: I'm amazed when I find anyone in the medical profession who thinks the BMI nonsense has any validity.

Go pick some taller than average athletes who are in very good shape and apply the BMI nonsense to them, I'll bet you'll find most are considered obese. Like Michael Jordan, listed as six foot six inches and 216 pounds. His BMI is 25 so he's overweight.


Most people aren't athletes or body-builders.

For the general population, the BMI is strongly correlated with body fat percentage if classified by population groups like sex, age etc.
 
2012-04-07 06:35:53 AM  

digitalpirate: I hate fat people

/there I said it


Why?
 
2012-04-07 06:36:00 AM  

Farked_in_the_NW: You don't get to a BMI of 35 by walking up and down the halls taking care of patients. There are a couple of nurses I work with who are obese and they are invariably found sitting behind the desk. In this field there is ALWAYS something to do and if you're sitting down that something is not being done. I'd say that BMI may just be an indicator of work ethic.

Now, I'm attacked for not understanding, I do. My metabolism isn't such that I can put away a box of twinkies and a gallon of ice cream without gaining weight. On days that I work I can put away some food without it affecting my weight... Now off to finish getting ready for work.

/Nurse


Perhaps, but that isn't the concern here; the administrator who has implemented this policy is upfront about it being an issue of appearance. As he is quoted in the article:

'The majority of our patients are over 65, and they have expectations that cannot be ignored in terms of personal appearance,' he said.

'We have the ability as an employer to characterize our process and to have a policy that says what's best for our business and for our patients.'


His reasons here are no different from the typical US conservative arguments for why airlines should be able to engage in age, weight, and gender discrimination. The take away here for me, as a Texan, is to be reminded of just how little protection even professional employees have in my state, and just how arbitrary employers are allowed to be in hiring, firing, and wage decisions. Some may say this episode is a minor one, but the lack of worker and consumer rights in Texas manifests itself in a whole host of far more dangerous and humiliating ways than just giving your boss the right to determine your appearance.
 
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