As a method to cut costs and reduce our premiums, our company has instituted an optional "health monitoring" system where we can access all records at a glance, reduce paper billing statements, and receive free, shall I call it, "counseling" through a nurse or nurse practitioner over the phone.
I signed up for the system because, hey, at a 15% discount per monthly premium, I'd be pretty stupid not to. Outside of its seemingly innocent face of reducing paper and simplifying medical records, the whole thing is a hotbed of pharmaceutical marketing ploys. I opted out of the "counseling" nonsense, but continue to receive notifications in the mail encouraging me to sign up and chat about my health concerns. Uh, no thanks.
The site has numerous health questionnaires similar to the goofy Real Age tests popularized on various website banners. For giggles, I took one of the tests. My answers involving the amount of animal product I consume and my lack of grain consumption decreased my overall score and then prompted the site to send me notifications on "heart healthy" diets and statin medication. Gee, thanks CW medicine. Just what I needed! Guess I better drop dat steak!
The company has presented numerous times that they're using this as a means to increase the relative health of employees through this free counseling as well as numerous weight loss programs. Apparently one of the programs will be a "Biggest Loser" style contest. Apparently this is all "groundbreaking" (oh woooo) stuff and it's gonna drop our premiums and get rid of all the fatties. We also receive complimentary gym passes to a local gym. There's rumors that there will be additional discounts for those that participate in the weight loss programs and visit the gym X amount of times per month. I'm all for visiting the gym, but considering how it's used, I'm not sure how effective that really is.
Now, I'm all for people getting in better shape, but everything that's being done is the same tired old advice given by every other schmuck in healthcare and nutrition. I go to the gym to lift weights, I see colleagues running the treadmill ratrace (seriously, the gym is amazing because no one ever freaking lifts weights. I have 3 racks of free weights and a squat rack ALL TO MYSELF). I look in the cafeteria, there's vending machines with instant lunches, canned fruit, and "SmartOnes" meals. And of course, the people buy into it and now our healthcare program is nicely promoting it even further. I'm counting the days until the sooper-healthy organic snackies and cookies hit the regular vending machine...3...2...1...
And when does it stop? I eat lunch at my desk to avoid the upcoming workplace cardiologists preach about how unhealthy my bacon and egg salad topping is. I wonder if I should wrap my big ass salad in a "LeanCuisine" wrapper as camouflage?
Many say "let the results speak for themselves." I do this. People ask me what I eat and I simply show them my lunch. No need to preach. That usually triggers a nose in the air and "ew, that's a lot of fat, you're hurting your health. You can't eat that way long term unless you want to suffer a heart attack."
So basically all I can do now is enjoy my 15% discount and laugh at the folly of CW weight loss theories whilst eating my "fattening" salad, lifting weights, and generally not giving a damn. I'm sure this is occurring in many other offices, too, unfortunately.
Anyone else have to deal with this goofy nonsense in the workplace? Have a bad experience with "health counseling" programs? It's seriously getting out of hand!