13 Jun 2005

French Polynesia launches new subsidy policy to fight diabetes

8:33 pm on 13 June 2005

The French Polynesian authorities have launched a public health campaign to reduce the incidence of diabetes.

Jean-Paul Theron, who is a pediatrician in Tahiti and was an advisor to the health minister, says subsidised foods will no longer include items with a high sugar content.

"The French Polynesian population above all eats much, much too much sugar, and so the war has started. And we decided to take off all the sweet and sugared food out of this listing. Then we decided to help the poor people to be able to buy fruit and vegetables and fresh fish."

Jean-Paul Theron says there are also plans to introduce a sugar tax in a bid to change the eating habits which have contributed to an incidence of diabetes that is among the highest in the world.