New Zealand bans fat immigrants

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New Zealand bans fat immigrants

So you want to immigrate to New Zealand but are a little on the tubby side? Then you better lose some weight, fat people are banned from immigrating to New Zealand.

I suspect its a rule aimed at filtering out Pacific Islanders who'se people can be very overweight. When they immigrate to New Zealand they become a drain on the local health system. In the next post are some statistics on the terrible obesity epidemic Pacific Island people face.

Rowan Trezise, 33, has been left behind in England while her husband Richie, 35, has already made the move down under leaving her desperately trying to lose weight.

When the couple first tried to gain entry to the country they were told that they were both overweight and were a potential burden on the health care system.

Mr Trezise managed to shed two inches from his sizeable waistline to fulfil criteria set out as part of his visa application to work as a technician in the country.

New Zealand officials assess people's weight using Body Mass Index which measures fat by comparing the height and weight of an individual.

Mr Trezise, a submarine cable specialist and former member of the army said his BMI was measured at 42 making him well over the limit of 25 which is regarded as overweight.
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My doctor laughed at me. He said he'd never seen anything more ridiculous in his whole life.

He said not every overweight person is unhealthy or unfit. The idea was that we were going to change our lifestyle totally and get outdoors and on mountain bikes and all sorts of activities.

Robyn Toomath, a spokesman for New Zealand's Fight the Obesity Epidemic and an endocrinologist said that obese people should not be victimised, but agreed with the restrictions.
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The immigration department can't afford to import people who are going to be a significant drain on our health resources.

You can see the logic in assessing if there is a significant health cost associated with this individual and that would be a reason for them not coming in.

While the New Zealand Immigration Service could not say how many peolpe had been refused entry on similar grounds, the Emigrate New Zealand website revealed that many people had been banned for being obese.

More on these sites

The banned couple.

fat-new-zealand-immigrants.jpg - 86.21kb
By netchicken: posted on 18-11-2007

You can see the target group from this 2001 study

Pacific islanders, especially women, are the fattest people in the world, according to latest figures published by the International Obesity Taskforce.

"The Pacific is the world's capital of obesity," said the taskforce's director for public affairs, Neville Rigby said.

The figures show that 55% of Tongan women, 74% percent of Samoan women and 77% of men and women living in Nauru are obese.

This is two times the proportion of overweight people in developed countries.

In New Zealand, 15% of men and 19% of women are obese. But the condition is worse among the country's Maori women - 27% of whom are obese - and Pacific Island women, 47% are affected by the condition.

Almost 11 per cent of Pacific Island children in New Zealand are extremely obese, compared with just 0.8 per cent of European and other non-Maori children, according to Otago University researchers.
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It is really horrifying that one child in 10 in the Pacific Islands population and 1 in 20 in the Maori population, versus 1 in 100 in the Europeans already have this extremely high level of body fat which is damaging their health.

These children are already so obese that it is bad for their health. They are in the top 1 per cent of the weight range for their age group and adults in that weight range usually have at least one health problem.

We need to convey this to their parents because many of them don't realise the risks for children. Most parents probably don't realise their children are so heavy and so fat. Neither do they associate extreme levels of fat with health risks early on.
Otago University researcher Dr Ailsa Goulding said today.

Diabetes was prevalent in obese Maori and Pacific island adults, with type 2 diabetes occurring in these groups in adolescence, Dr Goulding said: "Children with extreme obesity are at high risk".

The fact that extreme obesity was so common was likely associated with a tendency to eat the wrong foods, do too little exercise and, perhaps, with a genetic propensity for obesity.

The marked ethnic differences in the rates of extreme childhood obesity have emerged in new analysis of a 2002 National Children's Nutrition Survey funded by the Ministry of Health – one of the few studies of its type anywhere in the world.
By netchicken: posted on 18-11-2007

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