A South African chef living in New Zealand has been told by authorities that he is too "fat" to live in the country and is currently facing deportation, according to reports.
Albert Buitenhuis weighs 285 pounds (130 kilograms), and the New Zealand government that to be too overweight and a health risk. Ironically, New Zealand has the third highest rate of obesity in the world, behind the U.S. and Mexico, notes AFP.
Buitenhuis, 50, first moved to New Zealand in 2007 with his wife. At the time, he weighed 350 pounds and has since been losing weight.
"The irony is that at the moment he weighs less than he [did] when we first arrived in New Zealand," his wife tells Stuff.co.nz. The government didn't blink at his weight then or in subsequent years as the couple renewed their work visas, but this is year is different.
An immigration spokesman said all applicants with a body mass index of more than 35 are investigated.
The spokesman said the chef had been rejected because his obesity put him at "significant risk" of health complications such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and hypertension.
A spokesman said: 'INZ's medical assessors have to consider to what extent there might be indications of future high-cost and high-need demand for health services.'
They claim that his weight increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and fatty liver.
He also has a knee injury which could cost up to $20,000 to replace.
The Press reported that the couple's doctor said he could bring his cholesterol and blood levels into the acceptable level within 26 weeks.
They have made an appeal to New Zealand Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye.
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