Whole Foods is sending a clear message to employees: you weigh less, you pay less.
The grocery store chain known for organic, local and sometimes exotic food options announced it will offer steeper discounts to employees with lower BMI’s (Body Mass Index). The initiative, called the Team Member Healthy Discount Incentive Program, would offer an additional 10% off to employees who meet certain health standards.
Whole Foods workers already receive a 20% discount on goods in the store. This voluntary program would allow them to get up to 30% off as long as they maintain healthy “biometric criteria for blood pressure, total cholesterol (or LDL), levels and Body Mass Index (BMI)," reports PerishableNews.com via a press release from the company.
And what exactly are those levels? According to a poster released by the company, employees who want to receive the steepest discount - the “Platinum” level - need to have a BMI of 23.99 or less, blood pressure of 110/70 and less than 150 Total Cholesterol (or less than 80 LDL). A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal and anything above 30 is considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, says via a company letter that the program is designed to reduce health care costs to the company. In the letter, Mackey writes, “Whole Foods spent more than $150 million in 2009 on health care … and that amount is projected to rise each year.”
Health screenings for employees began on January 21 and Team Member Healthy Discount cards will be issued in March.
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