Friday, 23 November 2007

New Zealand Bans the Obese

Doctors in New Zealand recently campaigned to ban fat people from entering the Country. How, I hear you say, can this not be discriminatory. Well it has been successful and has now happened.

35 year old Rowan Trezise has been rejected from entering New Zealand when her husband applied for a work visa. He chose to lose weight to get admitted himself. His employer backed skills visa was initially rejected by immigration officials when they discovered his BMI was 42, making him morbidly obese under New Zealand regulations.

Mr Trezise, a submarine cable specialist and a former soldier, said: 'My doctor laughed at me. He said he’d never seen anything more ridiculous in his whole life. Not every overweight person is unhealthy or unfit.'

But Robyn Toomath, a spokesman for Fight the Obesity Epidemic and an endocrinologist, said the BMI limit was valid in the vast majority of people. She said she was opposed to obese people being stigmatised. 'However, the immigration department’s focus is different,' she said. 'It cannot afford to import people into the country who are going to be a significant drain on our health resources.

So what I can gather from this is that discrimination is fine as long as it is justified by preventing possible additional use of public services, regardless of the ACTUAL health of the individual, which can be ascertained fairly easily. I am sick of discrimination being allowed in certain circumstances. Why is it publically thought of as ok to judge someone by their weight but not their race, religion or sex?

Well, I'm not planning a move to New Zealand so the urgency to lose a few pounds has definitely wained until the new year. I'm enjoying plus size shopping at places like far too much this season.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Crossing NZ off list of vacation spots -- if they don't want me as a resident, they can't have me as a tourist.