Americans have been preoccupied with their weight for a long time, but the current focus in popular culture on the "obesity epidemic" is itself reaching epidemic proportions. Fighting fat has become the new frontier of public health, with many of the strategies developed and tested against tobacco—from lawsuits to new regulations to wellness programs—being rolled out against obesity.
On the one hand, from the workplace perspective, this just makes good business sense. Employers of all sizes are, you might say, groaning under the weight of our excess weight. Escalating healthcare costs have made it imperative to aggressively promote employee wellness and combat health risks. It's rare now to find a major employer, insurer or healthcare provider who doesn't have a strategy for combating obesity.
On the other hand, the fight against fat is raising civil-rights implications that were much less clear with tobacco. The main target...(register to read more)