This week

More Donuts Please


Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 


the Wednesday Whisper

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A UK government adviser is recommending that obesity should be classed as a “protected characteristic”. This would mean employers having to make reasonable adjustments for those considered to be obese. In general, Obesity is measured by your Body Mass Index so if your BMI is between 18 and 25 you are in a normal weight range. If your BMI ranges between 25 to 30 you are overweight. If you’re BMI is over 30 you’re considered obese.

Adjustments could include missing the rush-hour commute because it is uncomfortable, demanding an extra chair or working from home.

Advisor, Professor Bevan has produced a review of research in to obesity workplace discrimination. “Some people say that obesity is the last characteristic that it’s still socially acceptable to make fun of,” he says.

But Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute for Economic Affairs, said: “This is a ludicrous idea that will only create resentment against obese people if it were implemented”.

I’m imagining all those people who are a pound or two away from being classed as obese rushing down to a cake shop after work, gorging on donuts then waking up in the morning, getting on the scales and phoning work to announce that they are now obese and will therefore have to avoid the rush hour.  

Snowden also said that, “being fat is not a disability” and, “If obese people are to be given special privileges, should we not also give special privileges to smokers, alcoholics and compulsive gamblers?

So cake, wine and scratch cards could be the way forward?

So where is the ludicrous leadership? Is it ludicrous that employers should make adjustments for people who have characteristics which are treatable, or should people with characteristics that are treatable be afforded some understanding in the form of adjustments?

I don’t think it’s as easy as making a one size fits all judgement call. That’s the problem with making rules as opposed to creating common agreements out of understanding. Every time someone thinks it’s unfair, we default to rule-making yet I don’t see the world as being a happier place for it.

On Monday I was giving a talk to a group of heads of HR and they could see the value in being able to have the real conversation whatever the topic but it’s amazing how legislation and the debate mentality can prevent us from meeting in our common humanity to see what can be done for each other because we care on a case by case basis taking everyone into account.

Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness

This is a terrible topic given that I came back from 2 trips a little heavier than I like so I’m concentrating on abstinence this week.

The Wednesday Whisper

 What have you abstained from in the hope of improving your life?


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