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Progress in tackling childhood obesity slow

February 19, 2019 1:01 pm

The progress in tackling childhood obesity has been slow and inconsistent according to Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.

While opening the Pacific Ending Childhood Obesity Network Inaugural Forum in Nadi this morning, Dr Waqainabete says childhood obesity is reaching alarming proportions in many countries and poses an urgent and serious challenge.

According to Dr Waqainabete here in Fiji, the latest results from the 2011 STEPs Survey revealed an increase in obesity by 8.5 per cent since 2002 with an estimated 32.1 per cent of adults reported obese.

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“There is a lot of evidence to suggest that children who struggle with obesity and overweight when they are young continue to struggle with weight issues when they become adults. There’s also evidence to suggest that children who are obese and overweight when they are young they struggle with NCDs when they are older.”

He says as a medical doctor this is concerning.

Dr Waqainabete also says that the Pacific Ending Childhood Obesity Network is prioritising collective action in four strategic areas: physical activity promotion, the restriction of marketing of unhealthy foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, fiscal policy intervention and child obesity surveillance.

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