Overweight children a concern

February 24, 2023 7:43 pm

Over seven percent children under five years are overweight in the country.

This has been highlighted in the 2022 Report on Malnutrition in the Pacific which was launched during the 2023 Pacific Regional Forum on Early Childhood Development this week.

The report also reveals overweight and obesity were major public health problems in the country including amongst children.

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It states that dietary behaviours are influenced by increasingly unhealthy food environments.

It also states that 34 percent of the children’s population aged 5-19 years old and 65.6 percent of the population aged 18 years and above are overweight.

The Report further suggested the need for Fiji to strengthen policies on breastfeeding promotion, school feeding and food environments.

It states that there is a need to develop nutritional guidelines for provision of food in schools, controlling the sale and promotion of unhealthy food in schools, and implementing taxes on unhealthy foods and subsidies for nutritious food.

In addition, the report calls for a systems approach to engage different sectors which are required to design effective policies in addressing all forms of malnutrition.