12 Feb 2008

The impact of obesity being felt more widely in the Pacific

5:03 pm on 12 February 2008

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says obesity in the region is become a more serious health issue.

Obesity is often the root cause for Type II Diabetes, Hypertension, and Cardiovascular and Joint problems.

A non-communicable disease advisor says poor nutrition, including too much sugar and processed food, and not enough exercise are causing the problem.

Jeannie McKenzie says almost all Pacific nations have a high percentage of obese people, but there're a number of countries that feel the pinch in particular.

"It's becoming a bigger a problem in the Pacific region. The top five or six countries keep re-emerging. The top five or six countries are Nauru, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands."

Jeannie McKenzie is calling on all governments to raise awareness about the problem and make healthy food, such as fruit, vegetables and fish, affordable.