Friday, April 22, 2011 12:35 AM

Doing it in a glass house

Let the record show, I spent a day shopping at the Mall of America in Minneapolis -- with my adult children -- and never actually bought anything.

Let the record further show that I think it's both a whacked and wonderful idea to have an overweight 45-year-old man live in a glass apartment for 30 days in the aforementioned mall in an effort to reform his diet and exercise habits. Clearly a career-making PR move by someone working for his sponsor, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

If I could exhibit countless hours of self-control in one of the world's cornucopia's of overdone crud, I'm comfortable applauding a self-employed actor named Scott who claims to have doffed 29 pounds and walked 250 miles (not "run" 250 miles as one TV station claimed) while exhibiting/reforming his lifestyle in a 20-by-30-foot glass enclosure.

The mall is roughly 4.2 million square feet and proclaims itself large enough to accommodate seven Yankee Stadiums (Minnesotans should be so lucky).

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune said the insurer's "Do" campaign comes against the backdrop of the state saying 60% of its adult residents are overweight or obese, and about $1 billion is paid to treat some of the consequences -- diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

As I was jotting this down, a new report indicated overall health of American workers in employer-sponsored health plans declined 2% between 2005 and 2009, judging by body mass index, blood pressure readings, alcohol and tobacco abuse and cholesterol rates. Thomson Reuters estimated that decline added about $670 per worker in health costs to employers and at least partly explains soaring insurance premiums. The estimate doesn't factor in disability or sick days.

Kinda explains why Scott was a wunderkind for weight-loss marketing. Kinda makes me wonder how many calories I burned while not shopping and not eating while mally-dollying.

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Let the record show, I spent a day shopping at the Mall of America in Minneapolis -- with my adult children -- and never actually bought anything.

Let the record further show that I think it's both a whacked and wonderful idea to have an overweight 45-year-old man live in a glass apartment for 30 days in the aforementioned mall in an effort to reform his diet and exercise habits. Clearly a career-making PR move by someone working for his sponsor, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.