18 May 2015

Cook Islands healthy lifestyle message starts to get through

1:43 pm on 18 May 2015

The director of public health in the Cook Islands says she is starting to see an improvement in people's lifestyle choices as a result of initiatives to combat obesity.

According to the World Health Organisation, the country has the highest obesity rate in the world, with 50.8 percent of people regarded as obese.

The director of the public health department, Neti Herman, says she's not sure how this rate was determined, but admits the country does have a problem with obesity.

But she says there have been a number of recent initiatives in the community and across government and signs of improvement are emerging.

"We have noticed that the people are now starting to eat more vegetables and fruit. There's definitely a change in attitude but maybe we haven't seen the impact of that change in attitude as yet."

Neti Herman says the department has been particularly focussed on teaching school children about a healthy lifestyle, to ensure that future generations don't grow up obese.

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