29 Jul 2015

Pacific teachers want a say in obesity fight

3:35 pm on 29 July 2015

Teachers around the Pacific say government health departments need to collaborate with them to combat childhood obesity.

A recent WHO report shows Pacific nations make up the top five countries with the world's highest obesity rates.

Four commissioners from the WHO's Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, or ECHO, are continuing talks with regional leaders, teachers and staff from the Ministry of Education in Auckland today.

Yesterday, they hosted a discussion with students and teachers from Auckland and also from Tonga and the Cook Islands through a Skype-link up.

Sir Peter Gluckman.

Sir Peter Gluckman says obesity crisis will also affect Chinese and Asian communities Photo: SUPPLIED

ECHO's co-chair Sir Peter Gluckman says it is the first time the WHO has sent ECHO commissioners to consult with students and teachers anywhere in the world.

"We've heard more real practical suggestions from the Pacific Islands people over the last two days and it shows again that listening and talking to the people on the ground is really important in making policy."