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What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

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  • daltontfdaltontf Member Posts: 62 Member Member Posts: 62 Member
    Anyway our Bicycle Network is making a push for people who cycle to work to be paid an extra $5 per day ... it's an election lobby I think. That would be nice ... might be just the incentive I need to start commuting by bicycle again.

    It would be nice if there was some kind of incentive for office buildings to have locker rooms with showers. People who bike to work or exercise over lunch to clean up before starting/returning to work. Even those who sometime exercise on the way home (like me) would prefer change clothes in something other than a bathroom stall.
    edited April 2019
  • aokoyeaokoye Member Posts: 3,497 Member Member Posts: 3,497 Member
    daltontf wrote: »
    Anyway our Bicycle Network is making a push for people who cycle to work to be paid an extra $5 per day ... it's an election lobby I think. That would be nice ... might be just the incentive I need to start commuting by bicycle again.

    It would be nice if there was some kind of incentive for office buildings to have locker rooms with showers. People who bike to work or exercise over lunch to clean up before starting/returning to work. Even those who sometime exercise on the way home (like me) would prefer change clothes in something other than a bathroom stall.

    Join the Military! Daily exercise and if you are an unmarried enlisted troop, three squares every day. If you get too fat, the First Sergeant will come down on you for getting fat. You'll also have your fitness tested a couple of times a year. In the Army, it was the APFT, consisting of a two mile run, and timed push and situp exercises.

    You scores, and your weight and height go into your packet for promotion.

    Is that what you want employers to do? If it is, there is already an employer out there for you. Join now!

    This of course assumes that a. you want to join the military and b. the military would take you.

    Yes, I'm assuming you were at least a little tongue in cheek. There are various other employers where similar situations would take place.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member, Premium Posts: 6,761 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,761 Member
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    There are 168 hours in a week.

    It is not your employer's responsibility to manage 2% of your time to exercise.

    Along that vein, it shouldn't be our employer's responsibility to manage our health care. Yet they do. I'm all for replacing what we have with a single payer system.

    My husband doesn't like his job and he's really tempted to move to another employer. But it would potentially cause such a disruption to our son's medical care and he can't lose his providers. Changing ABA therapists is such a bigger deal then finding a new family doctor or even a specialist like cardiologist.

    Your employer doesn't see it this way. Part of your compensation is provided in sponsored healthcare. Are you aware of the cost?

    You can choose to outsource responsibility, but this comes at a great cost.

    I'm very aware of the cost. I'm an HR manager for an employer of approximately 14,000 people. I have my SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources). Many employers would LOVE to get out of the business of providing health care for their employees. It would be much easier for us to take that employer cost and pay it as a payroll tax towards single payer and not have to deal with all the headache of shopping and managing health insurance plans.

    I'm a partner in a small firm, and health care and salaries are things we talk about every year at our year end meeting. I totally agree with you. Not only would my company love to not have to deal with health care, but it affects negatively who we can hire and salaries -- we consider health care as part of salary, necessarily, but what that means is a less valuable employee who has no health care costs (because on the spouse's) may get more "salary" from us than someone we value more and would like to give a larger raise. We know, however, that the employees don't count the health care expenditures as salary. Since in our industry good health care is standard, it's basically required that all provide it, even though it's not really a function that we are specialized for.

    I think due to the structure few have an understanding of what they are paying for health care, or specific procedures, which precludes real cost competition (so there's no real free market now), but it does preclude people from changing jobs and especially being entrepreneurs. My dad started his own business when I was in my late teens (my sister was younger), but largely only because he had the freedom to because my mom had a job with good insurance.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member, Premium Posts: 6,761 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,761 Member
    Machka9 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    h7463 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

    Or prevent obesity?

    Lunch breaks must be 1 hour and 15 minutes ... so that employees can change, go exercise for an hour, and return.

    All organisations must provide exercise options: walking groups, yoga classes, gym in the basement, free gym memberships, or whatever.

    All organisations must provide good, secure bicycle parking.

    People who commute actively get a $10/day bonus in their pay packets.

    Sounds nice... In reality, however... :D

    Most of us don't get paid lunch time. Those who are unabe to workout for some reasons will be stuck for 1.5 hrs, playing with their thumbs, as many employers don't have flexible lunch hours. That sucks... You can't force anyone to be active aside from set job requirements on the clock, as this would be a field day for their worker's compensation insurance...

    Really???? :astonished:

    I've always had paid lunches. I've got an hour, which I can take any time I want ... this would give me one hour and 15 minutes. :) An hour to exercise and 15 minutes to freshen up. :)

    Or if I have errands to run at lunch, it would give me an hour and 15 minutes to do that.

    Or if I don't want to take lunch one day, I could come in an hour and 15 minutes late or leave an hour and 15 minutes early.


    Sounds good to me! It's just an extra 15 minutes a day ... but it provides that extra little buffer to come in and freshen up.

    Paid lunch is uncommon in the US. Nice for you, but not the norm.

    41% of workers are salaried. Of hourly workers, 70% are under 30.

    Paid vs. unpaid lunch seems to me to make sense really just for hourly workers.

    Yeah I'm salaried based on a certain number of hours in a day

    I'm salaried and it just means get your tasks done, whether it takes 6 hour days or 16 hour days that particular week. There's no specific lunch break, but if I don't have something scheduled or need to be present for a potential meeting/call, I can workout whenever. It's nice since I can go on an off hour if I want (my office is near my gym on purpose) or go workout for a while after work and come back.
    Anyway our Bicycle Network is making a push for people who cycle to work to be paid an extra $5 per day ... it's an election lobby I think. That would be nice ... might be just the incentive I need to start commuting by bicycle again.

    That would be cool.

    I used to commute by bike, but don't during the winter because it gets dark early and the weather can be bad. I didn't in the summer last year since the path I use was being worked on. I might this summer again, depending on how safe I feel and whether I am consistently not working too late (I often work late and won't ride if it's mostly dark, but in the summer here it stays light pretty late). We have good storage so if I ride and can't go home by bike it's safe for my bike to stay overnight. Biking is faster than public transportation, which I otherwise take, but I can at least get a good number of steps taking public transportation.

    Where I live biking is inherently a money saver, since parking is crazy expensive and public transportation costs money.
    edited April 2019
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member, Premium Posts: 6,761 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,761 Member
    Machka9 wrote: »
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    There are 168 hours in a week.

    It is not your employer's responsibility to manage 2% of your time to exercise.

    Along that vein, it shouldn't be our employer's responsibility to manage our health care. Yet they do. I'm all for replacing what we have with a single payer system.

    My husband doesn't like his job and he's really tempted to move to another employer. But it would potentially cause such a disruption to our son's medical care and he can't lose his providers. Changing ABA therapists is such a bigger deal then finding a new family doctor or even a specialist like cardiologist.

    In Australia, employers don't manage health care. It would be nice if they did to some extent.

    You probably don't want this. I don't think it's a good thing about the US. (IME, my office building does have a workout room with shower, and there are tons of gyms around us, so we don't need the employer involved for that.)
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,639 Member Member Posts: 1,639 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    h7463 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

    Or prevent obesity?

    Lunch breaks must be 1 hour and 15 minutes ... so that employees can change, go exercise for an hour, and return.

    All organisations must provide exercise options: walking groups, yoga classes, gym in the basement, free gym memberships, or whatever.

    All organisations must provide good, secure bicycle parking.

    People who commute actively get a $10/day bonus in their pay packets.

    Sounds nice... In reality, however... :D

    Most of us don't get paid lunch time. Those who are unabe to workout for some reasons will be stuck for 1.5 hrs, playing with their thumbs, as many employers don't have flexible lunch hours. That sucks... You can't force anyone to be active aside from set job requirements on the clock, as this would be a field day for their worker's compensation insurance...

    Really???? :astonished:

    I've always had paid lunches. I've got an hour, which I can take any time I want ... this would give me one hour and 15 minutes. :) An hour to exercise and 15 minutes to freshen up. :)

    Or if I have errands to run at lunch, it would give me an hour and 15 minutes to do that.

    Or if I don't want to take lunch one day, I could come in an hour and 15 minutes late or leave an hour and 15 minutes early.


    Sounds good to me! It's just an extra 15 minutes a day ... but it provides that extra little buffer to come in and freshen up.

    Paid lunch is uncommon in the US. Nice for you, but not the norm.

    41% of workers are salaried. Of hourly workers, 70% are under 30.

    Paid vs. unpaid lunch seems to me to make sense really just for hourly workers.

    Yeah I'm salaried based on a certain number of hours in a day

    I'm salaried and it just means get your tasks done, whether it takes 6 hour days or 16 hour days that particular week. There's no specific lunch break, but if I don't have something scheduled or need to be present for a potential meeting/call, I can workout whenever. It's nice since I can go on an off hour if I want (my office is near my gym on purpose) or go workout for a while after work and come back.
    Anyway our Bicycle Network is making a push for people who cycle to work to be paid an extra $5 per day ... it's an election lobby I think. That would be nice ... might be just the incentive I need to start commuting by bicycle again.

    That would be cool.

    I used to commute by bike, but don't during the winter because it gets dark early and the weather can be bad. I didn't in the summer last year since the path I use was being worked on. I might this summer again, depending on how safe I feel and whether I am consistently not working too late (I often work late and won't ride if it's mostly dark, but in the summer here it stays light pretty late). We have good storage so if I ride and can't go home by bike it's safe for my bike to stay overnight. Biking is faster than public transportation, which I otherwise take, but I can at least get a good number of steps taking public transportation.

    Where I live biking is inherently a money saver, since parking is crazy expensive and public transportation costs money.

    Given your description you are a salaried exempt employee. Salaried non-exempt employees get overtime.

    In virtually all salaried non-exempt jobs the employees don't have a whole lot of flexibility to come and go as they please. In larger organizations exempt employees may have a bit more freedom but often have to be available some "core hours" and probably wouldn't get by working a week of 6 hour days very often.

    eyz2qdo3ewmh.png

    https://www.thebalancecareers.com/exempt-and-a-non-exempt-employee-2061988
    edited April 2019
  • h7463h7463 Member Posts: 626 Member Member Posts: 626 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    There are 168 hours in a week.

    It is not your employer's responsibility to manage 2% of your time to exercise.

    Along that vein, it shouldn't be our employer's responsibility to manage our health care. Yet they do. I'm all for replacing what we have with a single payer system.

    My husband doesn't like his job and he's really tempted to move to another employer. But it would potentially cause such a disruption to our son's medical care and he can't lose his providers. Changing ABA therapists is such a bigger deal then finding a new family doctor or even a specialist like cardiologist.

    In Australia, employers don't manage health care. It would be nice if they did to some extent.

    You probably don't want this. I don't think it's a good thing about the US. (IME, my office building does have a workout room with shower, and there are tons of gyms around us, so we don't need the employer involved for that.)

    I agree on the bolded part! I have experienced that some employees are stuck in an unsuitable job, because they or a family member depend on the company health insurance, and they wouldn't be able to obtain coverage any other way. (Modern form of slavery...?)
    There are only 2 insurance providers left in the state where I live. All the others have abandoned us already. People depend on employers for affordable plans, as buying privately more than doubles the premiums around here.
    The mandate had put the insurance providers in a 'shooting fish in a barrel' situation, and with them working for profit, there was never any doubt in my mind, that they would shamelessly take us for every single dime.

    My suggestion would be, for a health insurance company to conduct business in this country, they should be obligated on a federal level to offer coverage nationwide, instead of picking states that promise the least risk for them. Put some competition out there! This should definitely promise some better rates and service!

    Also something to consider: Put an end to balance billing! After premiums, healthcare should be free at the point of service! Obligate doctors and insurance to get more active in negotiating insurance reimbursement rates, and not dump the rest of the bills on the patient.

    Personally, I don't care if the doctor's wife or husband wants a new SUV. At the very least, I shouldn't have to pay for it, if the doctor can't make the money just from insurance reimbursements. I'm honestly not making this up, but I had a dentist brag about new tires for his muscle car, while I was getting a new crown, and I suddenly knew why the price for it exceeded my insurance coverage by THIS much....
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member, Premium Posts: 6,761 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,761 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    In virtually all salaried non-exempt jobs the employees don't have a whole lot of flexibility to come and go as they please. In larger organizations exempt employees may have a bit more freedom but often have to be available some "core hours" and probably wouldn't get by working a week of 6 hour days very often.

    IME, exempt wouldn't either, of course, because we'd get fired. 6 hour days might follow numerous extra long days or working all weekend or the like. (For people in my profession, total hours per year is key.)
    edited April 2019
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member, Premium Posts: 6,761 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,761 Member
    Just to add to what I said above:
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    In virtually all salaried non-exempt jobs the employees don't have a whole lot of flexibility to come and go as they please.

    This is largely true, but I think too broadly stated -- our support staff work a set 8 hour schedule unless they do overtime. However, they have flexibility in the hours (most prefer to start at 8 or 8:30 and get off earlier, whereas I think we would prefer that some start at 9 or 9:30 and stay later, but unlike many bigger entities in the profession we don't force that). If they need to come early/leave early a particular day, no one cares so long as the hours are in (overall week). And with respect to lunch -- the topic -- they eat whenever they choose, subject to the particular needs in the day of the people they are working with, and at different times based on personal preference, including one who takes a short lunch in order to get off earlier. If someone wanted to have a 90 min lunch in return for staying later, that would be totally fine (so far no one has ever asked for that as a regular thing). In my office on the average week exempt all work more hours than the non exempt, but do have more flexibility re when the hours are worked (although for the most part it would be a problem not to be there on most days during the regular working hours).
    edited April 2019
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,665 Member Member Posts: 8,665 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    There are 168 hours in a week.

    It is not your employer's responsibility to manage 2% of your time to exercise.

    Along that vein, it shouldn't be our employer's responsibility to manage our health care. Yet they do. I'm all for replacing what we have with a single payer system.

    My husband doesn't like his job and he's really tempted to move to another employer. But it would potentially cause such a disruption to our son's medical care and he can't lose his providers. Changing ABA therapists is such a bigger deal then finding a new family doctor or even a specialist like cardiologist.

    Your employer doesn't see it this way. Part of your compensation is provided in sponsored healthcare. Are you aware of the cost?

    You can choose to outsource responsibility, but this comes at a great cost.

    I'm very aware of the cost. I'm an HR manager for an employer of approximately 14,000 people. I have my SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources). Many employers would LOVE to get out of the business of providing health care for their employees. It would be much easier for us to take that employer cost and pay it as a payroll tax towards single payer and not have to deal with all the headache of shopping and managing health insurance plans.

    I'm a partner in a small firm, and health care and salaries are things we talk about every year at our year end meeting. I totally agree with you. Not only would my company love to not have to deal with health care, but it affects negatively who we can hire and salaries -- we consider health care as part of salary, necessarily, but what that means is a less valuable employee who has no health care costs (because on the spouse's) may get more "salary" from us than someone we value more and would like to give a larger raise. We know, however, that the employees don't count the health care expenditures as salary. Since in our industry good health care is standard, it's basically required that all provide it, even though it's not really a function that we are specialized for.

    I think due to the structure few have an understanding of what they are paying for health care, or specific procedures, which precludes real cost competition (so there's no real free market now), but it does preclude people from changing jobs and especially being entrepreneurs. My dad started his own business when I was in my late teens (my sister was younger), but largely only because he had the freedom to because my mom had a job with good insurance.

    ?? In the case of someone you're compensating with a higher salary because they get their health insurance through their spouse's employer, what happens if the spouse loses their insurance (e.g., loses their job; dies; suffers long-term disability; decides to become a stay-at-home parent or has to take a hiatus to care for an elderly parent). Do you tell them they have to take a pay cut if they want to sign up at the next open enrollment period?
  • sharondesfor935sharondesfor935 Member Posts: 87 Member Member Posts: 87 Member
    Panini911 wrote: »
    availability of healthful foods everywhere (ex: there are "food desserts") and an affordable price. some of hte cheapest foods are very hit fat/sugar/cals. and harder to get the healthful foods and meal prep with little money and working 3 jobs.

    Let me try a little preemptive craziness here. What if we priced food by the calorie? More calories = more expensive. Celery, lettuce, spinach, kale, cabbage would be nearly free; fresh fruits and vegetables would be very reasonably priced; grains and beans would be mid-range; lean meats would be more expensive; fatty meats would be your splurge of the month; desserts would be cost-prohibitive and something you had maybe once or twice a year for an incredibly special event.

    People would gravitate towards healthier choices, because those would be the affordable foods. The poorest people would eat the best. Obesity and all its related health issues would plummet. Publicly-borne costs for healthcare would drop dramatically.

    Is it a feasible concept? Nope. Trying to do a complete makeover of the agriculture subsidies would lose too many politicians their seats, certainly in the US and probably in most countries. Creating an economically viable subsidy program from scratch would take years and probably double the US federal deficit, by the time we dealt with all the legal backlash from the big ag companies, meat industry, dairy industry, and so on down through every special interest group.

    But it makes me smile to imagine it.
    edited April 2019
  • MoiAussi93MoiAussi93 Member Posts: 1,947 Member Member Posts: 1,947 Member
    And I'd like to think it's obvious that I wasn't talking about those people since I specifically spoke of those who were making choices to lead to their conditions.

    I was also clear that people would be free to help one another.

    It should have been obvious I was speaking about those who have control over their circumstances, which means probably 90-95% of the population.

    No one is running around chaining people to LazyBoy recliners and filling them full of Twinkies and MtDew. People choose that lifestyle voluntarily.

    Nothing I propose would prevent you or anyone else from voluntarily helping those who had no choice in their circumstances.

    I simply ask for the same freedom to not be shackled with the consequences of CHOICES (as I said numerous times) made by others.

    If people want to live the LazyBoy, Twinkie and MtDew dream, I have no problem with that. Just don't spend tax money on them if they cut their lives short and need heroic medical measures.

    The idea that people bear their own consequences is not counter to the idea that we are compassionate.

    I simply see compassion as not something done by the government. There is no compassion in voting to take money from one to fund another's vision of the greater good.

    Compassion is only measured by what someone VOLUNTARILY does with their own time, talent and treasure.

    Sorry you were unable to understand my use of the words "making choices."
    My point is if people think they need someone to look out for them, and that government is the best way to do that, there is the military.

    I really don't care what others do or don't do. I mean, I want them to make good choices. But I don't want them to lose the freedom to make the choices that allow them to pursue happiness.

    I simply don't want the rest of us to be on the hook for the consequences as if I'm on the hook for their consequences, it puts my happiness in jeopardy.

    Taking money from one taxpayer to address the consequences of the decisions of another impacts my pursuit of happiness. I don't have those resources to pursue my happiness, because someone is buying the votes of another, by shielding them from the consequences of their choices.

    So to me, the best public policy would be to stop spreading consequences to others.

    That doesn't mean people cannot or will not help one other. It simply means they will have the freedom to choose how they do so.
    aokoye wrote: »
    daltontf wrote: »
    Anyway our Bicycle Network is making a push for people who cycle to work to be paid an extra $5 per day ... it's an election lobby I think. That would be nice ... might be just the incentive I need to start commuting by bicycle again.

    It would be nice if there was some kind of incentive for office buildings to have locker rooms with showers. People who bike to work or exercise over lunch to clean up before starting/returning to work. Even those who sometime exercise on the way home (like me) would prefer change clothes in something other than a bathroom stall.

    Join the Military! Daily exercise and if you are an unmarried enlisted troop, three squares every day. If you get too fat, the First Sergeant will come down on you for getting fat. You'll also have your fitness tested a couple of times a year. In the Army, it was the APFT, consisting of a two mile run, and timed push and situp exercises.

    You scores, and your weight and height go into your packet for promotion.

    Is that what you want employers to do? If it is, there is already an employer out there for you. Join now!

    This of course assumes that a. you want to join the military and b. the military would take you.

    Yes, I'm assuming you were at least a little tongue in cheek. There are various other employers where similar situations would take place.

    Seems to have an unsupported just-world premise. Plenty of people end up with medical conditions that aren't consequences of them doing anything beyond being born. Personally, rather than assume the world is just in that it gives people consequences commiserate to their mistakes, I'd rather work to make a world that is just in that people don't die simply because they picked parents with poor genes or poor bank accounts. I'm fine with a spill-over that some other people don't suffer what some feel is a consequence of their action.

    Well said. I agree completely.
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