27 Mar 2012

Call for ban on sale of fizzy drinks in Cook Islands

8:09 pm on 27 March 2012

A Cook Islands Paramount chief is calling for a ban on the sale of all fizzy drinks in Cook Island schools.

Pa Marie Ariki wants drinking coconuts to replace the sale of fizzy drinks instead.

She says this is one way of combatting what she sees as startling diabetes statistics.

Of the close to 11 thousand people who live in the Cook Islands almost 4 thousand people suffer from a non-communicable disease like diabetes or hypertension.

She says prevention is the answer, and that can begin with what children are given at schools.

"When I look on the health policy, they haven't targetting school children, the solution here is the coconut, we call it nu, the drinking coconut be introduced back into the school, it's overdue. They shouldn't be drinking all these fizzy drinks, it's got sugar in it and that's our number one killer."

Pa Marie Ariki says she is hoping to set up a wellness clinic in her palace to have people tested for diabetes, and teach people how to live a healthy lifestyle.