Citizens Medical Center in Texas Rescinds Employment BMI Requirement

Citizens Medical Center in Victoria, TX, ended a requirement it rolled out in March, 2012, that all new employees have a BMI of 35 and under. After Texas law prohibits hiring discrimination based on race, age and religion, but BMI status is not protected. The policy had come under fire in the media and from healthcare experts and obesity advocates including the Obesity Action Coalition and The Obesity Society for furthering the weight bias and stigma often associated with the disease of obesity. Citizens Medical Center initially defended their position, saying people with obesity didn’t project an image appropriate for a hospital that promotes good health. After being contacted by the Obesity Action Coalition, the hospital agreed to end the policy. You can read OAC’s press release here.