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Emirates Weight "Watchers" Club

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Emirates Weight "Watchers" Club

Old 6th Feb 2009, 14:58
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Thumbs down Emirates Weight "Watchers" Club

I’m surprised this topic hasn’t received more press here. According to a recent release, Fleet Management, with the collusion of the Emirates Clinic, will now monitor the Body Mass Index (BMI) of Emirates pilots and will take action if the BMI is deemed to be excessive.

Interesting. Any pilot reaching a BMI of 35 will be required to undergo a nutrition and weight-loss programme and the subsequent progress reports, compiled by the company doctors, will be forwarded to fleet management. Action to be taken includes (but is not limited to) the removal from roster of the fat pilot.

It seems the act of regularly CERTIFYING a pilot as medically fit is no longer enough. They say the GCAA are concerned about the results of a review (the name and source of which are not made clear) and that AMEs were strongly urged by GCAA to take targeted action to mitigate the determined risks.

Perhaps we need to shed our lofty New World ideals of privacy. Whilst the pursuit and maintenance of physical fitness is of obvious importance, what I have trouble understanding is how the patient-doctor privilege and Hippocratic Oath can be so casually pushed aside to enable fleet management to handle the introduction and enforcement of this new policy. That the AMEs appear to be complicit with regard to this new policy and have consented to pass on confidential information beyond a qualified PASS or FAIL beggars belief.

Personally, I do not believe the GCAA issued a mandate to EK management to monitor anything. A medical concern has been raised somewhere and action urged and this slap in the face to modern medical practice and civilised behaviour (almost) everywhere was, in my guess, the first thought that popped into the heads of the usual dreamworld-inhabiting reactionaries who hide upstairs in Fort Fumble (aka The COC).

It begs the question of what other medical information is routinely passed on to the company. We already know your AIDS test results are forwarded on to the government (and without a shadow of a doubt, the company too). What about that dose of clap you picked up on a layover in Accra? Next time you bump into the CP and he smirks at you, maybe you should be wondering just what he knows about your personal medical file.

It remains to be seen whether this latest bizarre proclamation will stand up to the legal litmus test once someone is sacked over it. Based on the past performance of EK in the courts, that is likely to be a resounding “NO.”

The one certainty is that if we are ever again experiencing tight times, pilot numbers wise, and flights are hard to crew, this off-roster rule will quietly fade away as have so many of their other idiotic “policies.”
FatPilot is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2009, 15:28
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: united arab emirates
Posts: 371
. when policy is enforced like this you simply loose transparency. ( not that you can hide your bmi etc) , but folks with dangerous medical issues will see private doctors abroad and "treat" conditions privately. (assuming its medically threatening to their career)
fourgolds is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2009, 17:27
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Middle East
Posts: 807
Don't perceive it as intrusive, but rather as helpful. Surely your Employer wanting to look after your health and their investment, assisting with healthy living (weight loss programme, as you call it) and thus contributing to greater life expectancy to spend longer life with your wife and children is NOT a bad thing!!!!!!!

It is all to easy to jump down the throat of EK rather than view the positive aspects of the initiative.

Biting off the hand that feeds...............
A300Man is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2009, 19:10
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: uk
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A300Man whilst I follow your arguement as far as it goes there are many many more dangerous things that a pilot can be subject to that are much more dangerous than carrying a few extra kilos.

Smoking, Red Meat?, Cheese, Air pollution and of course dare I say it Stress.

A long time ago in Auntie Betty's Flying Circus a certain AME locum stated most strongly to a current rugby international that his BMI was way out and he MUST loose 2 stone! He was a winger who could do 100m in 11secs in boots!

Now I am not saying that any of us at EK look like rugby internationals but BMI is a very blunt gauge at best to assess someone's ability to able to fly.

As with the principle of the breach of doctor patient confidentiality, it's obviously OK to to pick on the "fatties" isn't it because they are just lazy and slobs right?

So how about those smokers?

They are obviously mentally unstable.

Why? Well they carry on smoking whilst knowing that it's killing them, ergo they must be insane. So they must all be grounded, you can't have someone who is insane flying an aircraft.

The point is guys The BMI thing is a MEDICAL thing not a Fleet Management thing! If they get their way with this what next?

Once the Doctor/ Patient confidentality pact is open to management scrutiny and action which group is going to cop it next?

Keep Discovering?

alwayzinit is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2009, 20:03
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mushroom cave
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I was under the impression 30 was the limit for the diet and 35 was the cut off limit. Talk about a yo yo diet. Eat the industries best food for a couple months with limited time to exercise (8 days off per month), get a little overweight, taken off line to lean out (28 to 31 days off per month, ample time to exercise even for the laziest of the group), then back on line to repeat the cycle. Make it 4 servings of bread instead of the normal 3 with that meal, and could you please bring me another butter, oh sorry make it 2 butters.
buzz&sntch is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2009, 23:36
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IMHO, they really should be looking at your weight/height ratio like in the old days. The BMI is controversial, since it measures body mass and a higher BMI could be caused by a denser muscular mass; not necessarily by fat.

According to many doctors, the BMI alone is not a good measure of your health risks and all the factors (genetics, lipids, age, sex, blood sugar, etc.), should be taken into consideration before taking any action, healthwise, against a pilot.
Yet, I agree with the company idea of taking steps to advise us on this issue, despite that the workload they impose on us doesn't contribute to a healthier lifestyle
Thylakoid is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 05:31
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: korea
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I'm thinking of taking up smoking to help me lose weight.

I'll lose weight when the company forces smokers to quit!!

What a joke, one more reason to avoid the clinic at all cost, and either self prescribe or visit the Jingly doctor in Karama. The one I use has a significant number of EK pilot patients.

Our benefit at heart my ass, they just want to control our lives, demoralize us further, and avoid any costs that may result later. I would suggest they probably consulted with the legal department over what would happen should someone get diabetes, and them having to pay loss of license.

Off to Golden Arches for a couple of burgers, and a large shake, which is where I eat most of the time on layovers with my well below industry standard allowances, which are typically about 30%-50% of what most of my mates get in other major carriers.

I then would have gone to the gym, but with minimum rest on the layover, and a company imposed limit of 12 days off I just don't have the time, or motivation.

Dear nutritionist, why don't you go on a few flights and have a look at the muck we get to eat on a typical 4 or 5 day pattern. I did a 12 hour duty recently where the choices were baritos, pasta, and some other muck. There was not a trace of any vegetable on any of the meals. Was fine by me, but the concept of them promoting a healthy life style...what a joke.

What next physical training tests....
allaru is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 06:41
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HMMM...food for thought isn't it? I know a few there who could shed a kilo or two. Interestingly, I went from a 16 to 18 days away type of job to a much slower pace and lost about 7 kilos...no more hotel room service/airline food/bad food/bad sleep patterns at the wrong time of the day helped! Something to be said for lifestyle isn't there?
Left Coaster is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 07:15
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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This is an interesting debate, to have a BMI of over 35 if you are not a rugby playing type really does mean that you are fat. I know some EK pilots will fall into this category however the vast majority will not. Compared to other airlines i have worked at i think the pilots here do far more excercise and sport but that is probably due to the availability of clubs through the EPC.
If your BMI is over 35 you should be seriously looking at your lifestyle and eating habits as being that overweight can have serious long term health issues. Emirates want to protect their investments to avoid paying loss of licence insurance and extra sick days etc.
I totally agree about the smoking comments they will probably bring in a rule for the lung capacity test next.
emratty is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 08:28
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not to mention abusing the sun ( skin cancer cases being above that of the general public). Surely not the result of cosmic rays but rather due to the time spent on golf courses

Golf will only be allowed between sunset and sunrise thus also keeping you acclimatised for most the flying we do
EK Pilot is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 10:04
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Guys & Girls this is not just your GCAA or Airline it is an industry wide aviation authority crackdown on BMI.. I will have to give up the fries at the Golden Arches now otherwise I will have no medical shortly! Sorry to bring bad news.
Mountain pilot is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 10:16
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They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

PositiveRate876 is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 10:38
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dubai
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BMI 35…

EK Pilot is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 10:53
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Location: dubai
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I am not suprised because of the statement of one of our lovely fleet manager :

We want to have our pilots under control and if we say NO to an outside treatment you have to stay in the uAE !

Guys they will force it believe it or not !

You are are not in free country ! Remember !

You are just a better paid slave !
dubaiwilli is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 11:54
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What goes around comes around................... not long ago a lot of us were told we had non-normal heart rates, I was one of them. We were all sent off to Dr Binbrek (I think that was his name) who did lots of tests to then pronounce us normal............so why is this of any use to the BMI thread? I had been told I was overweight, BMI 28 I think, at my annual medical and needed to lose weight. What they did not take into account was that I am naturally not a small guy and also I had been exercising a lot to get in shape. I had actually lost fat but gained muscle, muscle weighs more than fat so i had in fact gained weight - a big no no!! However the exercise had caused my resting heart rate to decrease, hence non normal in my medical, hence send to specialist........... the specialist told me that I had a very fit heart and it was totally normal but the way to not have the problem at medicals was not to exercise so much!!!!!! WHAT TO DO!!!!!
Muppets at EK have NO flexibility, if they did this would not be an issue. I also know that some of the really overweight guys would have serious problems dieting in the attempt to lose weight as their bodies could go into shock, so in the serious cases it opens another bag of worms. For us normal if not particularly toned guys expect the usual 'you know you should lose weight' lecture - again!!!
mini cooper is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 15:06
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A.K.K. (Tech Pilot Boeing) - I love you to bits - but a couple of BMI index points less will do you a lot of good!
MrMachfivepointfive is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 18:31
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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BMI is all niceand well for the Asians for example, but most caucasian male individuals of taller posture will easily find themselves with a BMI over 30!

Does that mean they are less fit? Now it does not!

Thats why in Europe BMI is being abandonned, in stead they measure the circumsize of your belly. Has to be below 1m I believe. Reason is that this is the area of your body where hamfull fat is being stored, causing heart attacks!

That rugby player example just says it all, doesnt it?

BMI is BS!
Qatari515 is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2009, 23:47
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Age: 47
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Not too sure I'd be keen for them to measure my "circumsize". I already get enough grief from 'er indoors.
WakeUpJeff is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2009, 00:18
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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I have had my BMI flagged a couple of times on medicals by the nurses. It never gets further than the doctors who then annotate the medical form. Some guys are just heavier than others.

If they were truly concerned about your health a quick check on cholesterol, blood pressure and body fat % would give you a ballpark idea. BMI is not suited to some body types and does not give accurate indications of an individuals health. So far in my experience the doctors have been up to speed on that. We'll see if anything changes with this new policy. If some guy in an office is going to call me fat and try and put me on a diet he will have to come out and play hockey with me for a couple games or maybe go for a nice 10K tab up the beach first before i pay any attention to what he has to say.
tbaylx is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2009, 06:29
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Waterworld
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To avoid the clap do not sleep with hookers or bar girls in Accra.
To avoid an EK diet eat a few less pies.
Hope this helps.
williewalsh is offline  

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