Thread: BMI Outrage
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:29 PM   #24
Tannhauser
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Lots of interesting issues tied up in this:

1) Is there a correlation between high BMI and early mortality?
2) Should insurance companies charge more for higher BMI?
3) Is there anything wrong with a comapny incentivising what they regard as healthy?

This is my 2cents, just opinion and not based on any research.

In the UK, young drivers face absolutely massive insurance premiums, and until recently young men paid loads more than young women. The reason was that statistically, more young men were involved in accidents.

It wasn't a moral judgement on them, it was a business calculation. I would imagine that insurance companies are simply doing the same for BMI. They rely on actuarial data that presumably show that those with significantly higher BMI don't live as long and are more likely to suffer from expensive diseases. SO it may be a bit of a blunt instrument, but unfortunately all the heavily muscled athletes are going to be tarred with the same brush as the giuys carrying lots of fat.

But this got me thinking whether a high BMI is all that healthy. Go on a long distance walk and you soon find out that the heart has to work hard servicing all that excess muscle, same as it does for fat. What are the long term effects of that?

With regard to the incentive at the company, it's not as if they're forcing people to lose weight. I bet most 'overweight' people at the company aren't carrying excess muscle, more likely they're flat-out fat. Is there a problem with a company giving a very small reward to behaviour that is likely to benefit many of them. They're not obliged to take the offer.
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