Thursday, November 22, 2007

Immigration and Body Mass

Who knows other countries may follow New Zealand's lead;

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.

via Emirates Economist

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