Chapter 5. The F Word

The Skinny on Being Fat


Be not anxious for what you shall eat, or what you shall drink ... or what you shall wear ... Isn't life more than food? ... and the body more than clothing?

 --Luke 12:22; 29

Fat—the ultimate F word. The Reactor Factor is all about turning negatives into positives. Did you react or respond in your mind when you saw "The F Word" as the title? Did you react or respond when you read the word "Fat?"

Here is the real deal. Did you know that some companies are penalizing people for being fat? Outrageous, you might say. The fact remains, however, that companies are taking this route in an effort to cut health-care costs and reduce the number of people having to be laid off. It is a bottom-line business decision. Does this resonate with you? Do these companies' choices to control the uncontrollable cost of health care raise your blood pressure?

Fat Chance for Reducing Costs

One in three people in America is considered obese. This number continues to soar, which, for employers, translates into health-care premiums growing twice as fast as inflation to nearly double their cost since the year 2000. An employers' goal is to hold down costs without offending or pushing away employees. In addition, if companies control costs, they won't have to lay off people.

Sixty-two percent of 135 executives responding to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey in 2008 said unhealthy workers, such as those who smoke or are obese, should pay higher benefit costs, compared ...

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