I took a health assessment survey today that my employer has been encouraging. I'd passed on the idea a month or two ago, but today I gave in to the $150 they were dangling in front of my nose. That could buy the spices from Penzey's I've been resisting or a supply of Primal Pacs or the Whole9 telephone consultation that's been sounding so tempting. So I sold out, took the darned survey, answered all their questions about diet and weight and health and exercise and self-esteem.
This was a long survey and in retrospect possibly not worth the money when you get right down to it. Especially since it's not really money; it's one of those annoying Visa cards that they load as you go. Still, I did it; it's done.
After they processed all my information which included not a single question about allergies or food intolerances, they said they were formulating my personal report. (Oh, did I mention this was an online survey? "They" refers to the program.) The report would tell me how healthy I am, and the follow-up virtual consultation would tell me what I could do to improve my health. Sure enough, after about 60 seconds, up popped my personal evaluation.
The report said I was at a healthy weight (yay!), applauded my non-smoker status, made a cautious suggestion that I might want to work on my exercise program, and then addressed diet. Apparently, my lack of healthy whole grains and sufficient dairy products is grave. That was mentioned over and over and over. They gave me all kinds of disgusting ways in which I might add grains. Of course, along with that I should limit my fat intake. They gave me lots of artificial low-fat suggestions. Apparently, they think I eat enough vegetables, but I should really increase my daily servings of fruit.
People are taking these surveys, thinking there's something to them. You know they are. Then they're following the outrageous recommendations or feeling guilty that they're not. This is not okay, not even for $150.