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CDC Shelves Workplace Obesity Website After Complaints

 / Updated 
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The CDC has taken down a website that offered an “obesity cost calculator” to help American bosses tally financial losses linked to their overweight employees, a spokeswoman for the agency confirmed Tuesday.

Called Lean Works!, the federal program drew recent criticism from some nutritionists and advocates for overweight Americans who claimed the site and its obesity calculator fueled workplace discrimination and perhaps even led some companies to fire fat people. NBC News first reported those concerns Nov. 2.

Brittany Behm, a spokesperson for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said via email that content once posted at Lean Works! “is under review,” adding: “The calculator is also under review and will be potentially updated with new information, technology.”

“The recent attention to the LEAN Works! program caused us to put this part of the website at the top of the list for review, hence why it is currently down,” Behm wrote. “… The potential misuse of this information is something we will certainly consider in our upcoming content review.”

Joanne P. Ikeda, nutritionist emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley called the move a “victory” for people who are “committed to ending discrimination based on body size.”

At the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, vice chairman Peggy Howell said: “I am over here doing a happy dance.”

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-- Bill Briggs

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