19 Mar 2010

Call for more Pacific people in NZ to change poor diets

6:54 pm on 19 March 2010

A Tongan nutritionist is calling on more Pacific people in New Zealand to enrol in local community education programmes to change poor eating habits and reduce obesity.

Mafi Funaki-Tahifote of Pacific Heartbeat says obesity rates are still on the rise, especially among young people.

She says there's often a perception that healthy food is tasteless and it's easier to get takeaways or eat out.

But she says if people plan their weekly food shopping better and knew how to cook healthy, the long-term benefits are worth the effort.

"Healthy eating is possible, and it is fun and it is tasty. There are healthy eating herbs and spices that are healthy and we've proven through the course that healthy eating also can be very affordable. So you can feed a family of six, with three adults, three children, for $25 for the whole day's meal, it can be done but needs a lot of planning."

Mafi Funaki-Tahifote.