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Thursday, October 27, 2005

The war on 'fatties'

I note from The Times this morning that Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, wants to introduce working practices that will deter overweight people from applying for jobs in its stores.

In an offensive against obesity, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, plans to make physical exercise a part of every employee’s working day, helping to dissuade unhealthy jobseekers from joining the company.

The strategy, disclosed in a leaked memo from a senior executive to the Wal-Mart board, proposes that all roles should encourage physical activity, such as trolley-stacking for cashiers in its supermarkets.

It also suggests that a culture change to promote health and tackle obesity would reduce absenteeism, improve efficiency, cut costs such as healthcare payouts and drive out the lazy.

It is tempting to comment that Walmart could make an important contribution to the health of the population generally if it only sold healthy foods. However, such a strategy would clearly hit their profits. In any case this move is solely about reducing sickness amongst their staff so as to cut costs.

It will be interesting to see if Asda follow suit. As a subsidiary of Walmart they may not have much choice. Certainly, if Asda insist on a certain level of physical activity from staff they may well fall foul of the Disabled Discrimination Act. One to watch perhaps?
Comments:
if walmart are becomming so interested in health, i wonder if it will stop selling ammunition in america - im sure at least some of its bullets have affected the health of individuals. if i recall properly it was walmart bullets used in columbine school shooting.
 
Don't get Peter started!!!

Now that he seems to be getting his way with fags, just wait for butter & full fat milk to be next on his list! It's all for our own good ... this is the New Liberalism!
 
actually i have cystic fibrosis so im on a high fat, high salt diet - which makes shopping very difficult.

i once bought a ready meal that was less than 3% fat, not realising, i overdosed myself with my capsules (which are for digesting fat) by over 900% - which wasnt pleasant.

so i hate this new trend towards healthy eating.
 
David, you should look to some in your own Welsh Labour Party regarding support for a 'nanny' state. It is not something I advocate. If you recall the only reason why Wales reintroduced free school milk at KS1 was because the Liberal Democrats brought it to the table as part of the Partnership Government.
 
I hadn't read this before, but doesn't that stink of discrimination? Discrimination against overweight people? And what about people with physical disorders like thyroid? They are refused? I am not fat, nor am I thin, I am not black, or gay, not an athiest or fundamental, does that mean I'm the perfect employee?
 
Peter - you eat chips in the canteen. I find the smell of the chips cooking (which I can smell from my office) offensive.

You don't hear me complaining.
 
I have not a clue what you are talking about David.
 
OK, I'll spell it out to you like a child.

You complain about smelling smoke from the somkers room on the third floor, you must have a very strong sense of smell since no one else can.

As a consequence you want to shut down the smokers room.

From my office I can smell the deep-fat fryer in the canteen frying your chips for lunch. I consider it an equally offensive smell.

No one cries for me.
 
There are reasons why nobody cries for you David! :-)

It is not the smell of smoke I object to it is its carcinogenic contents. When I last checked chip fat was not as lethal to third parties.

By the way you must be one of the few who cannot smell the smoke on the first floor.
 
Err... did I say I couldn't smell it on the first floor? I don't think I did.

Funny how I can only smell the smoke when one of your collegues is in their - I'd have a word.
 
David, I find it very difficult to believe that u don't like the smell of chips being fried!
 
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