“This is a bad situation and a slow‑motion disaster.”
These are the words of Minister for Health Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete while he was speaking on the prevalence of obesity in younger children who are aged 11 years and below.
He made this comment at the Pacific Ending Childhood Obesity Network Program where he also revealed statistics that show an increase in obesity by 8.5% since 2002 with an estimated 32.1% of adults reported obese.
He says as a medical doctor and Minister for Health this is of great concern as the increase in obesity is always accompanied by an increase in blood pressure, hypertension and reduction in blood glucose which are all major risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
The Health Minister says that this in itself calls for an accelerated regional collective and concerted action to halt the rise of the growing overweight and obesity epidemic.
Doctor Waqainabete says that like the NCD epidemic, addressing childhood obesity requires a more coordinated, multi‑sectoral action and engagement between government sectors, implementing agencies and teams, civil society groups, the private sector, development partners, academic institutions, media organizations NGOs and communities.
He says that while this is no easy feat, creating, sustaining and strengthening this multi‑sectoral commitment to tackling the multi‑faceted determinants of childhood obesity is essential.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.