Thursday, September 25, 2008

When Wellness Goes Too Far

An HR manager recently told me that her organization no longer provides donuts during the breaks at its training sessions. Fruit, juice, and granola bars are now the fare. She also mentioned hearing about some firms that no longer serve coffee because caffeine is addictive.

I'm not so sure if many granola bars are all that different from candy bars, but if this shift toward leaner and healthier goodies comes to a vote, put me down as a "No!"

It's not that I go for the donuts at conferences or meetings, but many people do and shouldn't they have the choice? This "let me decide what's is healthiest for you" attitude has whiffs of a nanny state. Aside from being puritanically obnoxious, it also may not be all that healthy. Some studies conclude that coffee has health benefits and ever since Atkins many of us think twice about the merits of some grains. We don't even need to get into the issue of fruit and sugar.

There would be no offense if the donuts had been stopped because they were too expensive, too much of a hassle, or no one was eating them. Removing them because people are not trusted to make the proper food choices is mildly insulting.


DarkoV said...

Put me on the list for one of these.
Also, keep the coffee coming.

And, no thanks to that tofu-based dessert offering. Some things should only be digested at home.

Kurt Harden said...

Moderation in all things, including efforts to instill better eating habits. I was at a meeting the other day where we were served a "well lunch" which included wraps with fat-free dressing and 98% lean meats (I know this because I was told so), something resembling a cookie, good fruit and okay vegetable salad.
I think a good rule is that lunch is lunch or breakfast is breakfast. If you would talk about how fattening everything is, don't talk about how healthy everything is. It invites cynicism and backlash.
And you can pry my coffee cup from my cold, dead hand.
Thanks for posting.

Michael Wade said...

Darkov: Love the photo! Hate the tofu!

Cultural Offering: I eagerly await news of what happened in the aftermath of the coffee ban. The person who passed on the news seemed skeptical of whether it would last.