Junkfood Science: Reducing obesity statistics

July 02, 2007

Reducing obesity statistics

New Zealand has a plan to keep its population obesity statistics down. Screen out fat immigrants.

Screen immigrants for obesity and smoking - doctors

Two Auckland doctors are calling for potential immigrants to be tested for obesity and smoking because of the burden both placed on health services.... South Auckland had a high immigrant population and doctors were seeing people migrating to New Zealand who are very high users of the health system, [Dr. Jeff Garrett] said. Dr Garret said health systems in some Pacific islands were not good and this was reflected in the health of the people. New Zealand then inherited this problem. He said people were not being appropriately screened at the border....

Immigration Minister David Cunliffe told the newspaper processes were tightened in 2005 to provide more comprehensive health screening.... "Our approach to immigration is to weigh up a variety of factors and to balance a person's health status against the potential benefits they may bring to New Zealand."

The diversity of a population and its immigrants (and their previous situations of poverty and hardship, and poor healthcare) is frequently overlooked when comparing obesity and health rates between different countries.

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