Obese Immigrant Fights Deportation in New Zealand


It is widely understood that your extra roll of belly fat can be a health problem, but now it’s actually getting in the way of where you can live — and not just because you need to widen the doorway.

In May, Albert Buitenhuis, a 50-year-old South African citizen who currently lives in New Zealand, was denied renewal of his work visa because of his weight. Immigration authorities in New Zealand stated that Buitenhuis — who currently weighs 286 pounds — no longer had “an acceptable standard of health and could put heavy demands on the country’s health services.” His increased risk of “diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obstructive sleep apnea, some cancers, premature joint disease, impaired glucose tolerance and an enlarged fatty liver” was the cause of his visa rejection.

In 2007, Buitenhuis and his wife, Marthie, moved to Christchurch, New Zealand from South Africa. Until now his visa was renewed…

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