The Director of Health for Tokelau says countries and territories must focus on educating young people on healthy living in order to reverse an epidemic of non-communicable diseases or NCDs, including diabetes and cancer.
Ms Lee Pearce's comments have come during the week long Pacific Non-Communicable Diseases Forum which concludes in Nadi this afternoon.
Ms Pearce says Tokelauans suffer from high rates of diabetes, smoking, high alcohol consumption and obesity, developed after the introduction of processed foods.
She says the government is now focussing on educating school students.
"The key one is to prevent the onset of conditions like diabetes, because it's going to take a generation to flipside. So the population that we need to influence is going to be the children."
The Director of Health for Tokelau Ms Lee Pearce.