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IBM Granted Your-Paychecks-Are-What-You-Eat Patent

theodp (442580) writes | more than 2 years ago

Government 1

theodp (442580) writes "On IBM's Smarter Planet, at least as envisioned in Big Blue's recently-granted patent for Providing Consumers With Incentives for Healthy Eating Habits, the Food and Drug Administration will team up with employers and insurers to determine your final paycheck based upon what you eat. IBM explains that whether a given food item is considered healthy may vary based on a number of factors, including 'individual health histories, family health histories, food intake, exercise routines, medications, and other health related factors', and may even be time dependent ('incentives are greater for consumption of a particular food item during a designated lunch time and less for consumption of the particular food item during other periods of time'). Before being issued, IBM's patent request languished for ten years and was only granted after a Patent Examiner's rejection was overturned on appeal. IBM CEO Sam Palmisano has been a cheerleader for pay-for-monitored-healthy-eating on a national level, which seems to be neatly aligned with the goals of his fellow CEOs on the Business Rountable, who told President Obama in 2009, 'It's very important that we don't have a government [healthcare] plan competing with a private plan and finding out that our employees or the citizens in general could go to a plan that doesn't have the same incentives and requirements and behavioral characteristics to make sure that they do the right things long term'."

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Good luck to BMI on making this pay. (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516960)

Making such a scheme pay would depend on finding companies with employees who will agree to being penalized for eating the foods they like. I don't see that happening.
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