Thursday, November 22, 2007

Woman too large for New Zealand

The Guardian
New Zealand has added another cruel cut to the myriad indignities visited upon those of larger girth: anyone with a dangerously high body mass index (BMI) is likely to be denied permission to emigrate there. Richie Trezise, 35, a Welsh submarine cable specialist, was initially rejected because of a BMI of 42 (25 or higher is regarded as overweight); he lost weight, but his wife Rowan, 33, has not found it so easy. For months she has tried to slim down enough to join her husband; if she can't do it by Christmas, he will have to give up his job and come home.

The government's reasoning is simple: it will take only immigrants of an "acceptable standard of health", ie those "unlikely to impose significant costs or demands on New Zealand's health or special education services" (a requirement that raises the even more controversial possibility of applicants being turned down for mental health reasons). Obese people are more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, strokes and high blood pressure; ergo, obese people are not allowed.
The Sun has pictures.

New Zealand can't be blamed for Mrs. Trezise's weight. It can be blamed for causing its own citizens to be overweight. Its healthcare policy has weakened the incentive to stay fit.

Evidence? Obesity is an epidemic in New Zealand. As one news source points out,
The country's health care system cannot afford to open its doors to overweight immigrants, a spokesman for New Zealand's Fight the Obesity Epidemic explained to the Daily Mail.

Over half of New Zealand adults and nearly one-third of New Zealand children are already overweight or obese, according to the group. Those figures are expected to rise, as are the health problems associated with being overweight, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
The UAE does not limit immigrants by weight, but then it doesn't let them participate in the health plan for citizens. Obesity among UAE nationals is a considered a social problem and is related to the high rate of diabetes.

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Blogger nzm said...

Discrimination at its best.

They have no problem opening the country's doors to immigrants who can't even speak English, contribute nothing to the economy or society, and fail to integrate - often with the end goal of moving on to Australia, once they qualify for the beloved NZ passport which allows them to also live in Oz.

Yet here they are banning people who bring value to NZ and are willing to stay put in the country to make it their new home.


Glass houses et al.

3:30 AM  

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