Junkfood Science: BMIs keep them apart

November 16, 2007

BMIs keep them apart

This past summer, when JFS revealed New Zealand’s plan to keep its obesity statistics down by screening out fat immigrants, many readers may have thought it a spoof. UK news reported today of a highly qualified British submarine specialist who was denied his new job and entry into the country until he lost weight. So, he went on a crash diet:

'Obese' migrant told to lose weight before making move

With years of experience as a submarine cable specialist behind him, Richie Trezise was looking forward to emigrating from Britain and using his skills to help New Zealand beat its brain drain. He had been headhunted by one of the country's biggest companies and was all set to begin a new life with his wife, Rowan. There was a slight hitch, however…immigration officials told him he did not meet New Zealand's health requirements because he was too fat….

"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," said Mr Trezise, who plays rugby and used to be in the Army. Rather than give up, he went on a crash diet…

The New Zealand immigration service said it had no idea how many people were denied entry because of their weight…. Mr Trezise's wife… is still at home trying to shed pounds so that she meets the BMI requirements and can join her husband in New Zealand. Mr Trezise has promised her that if she is unable to lose enough weight and pass the immigration test by Christmas, he will return to Britain for good…

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