9 Jun 2005

Research shows change in diet and wellbeing for Samoans

10:49 am on 9 June 2005

Three decades of research into the changing health and lifestyle of Samoans in American Samoa, Samoa, mainland United States and New Zealand have been presented to local libraries and health authorities in American Samoa.

Professor Stephen McGarvey and researchers from Brown and Pennsylvania University in the US have studied the effects of changes in the way of life on the health and well-being of Samoans.

Professor McGarvey says Samoans have shifted their diet away from local, dense carbohydrates that provide good nutrition...

"... to more of a diet typical of many people in the rest of the world: More calories, more fat, more sodium, more salt in their diet. And all of these things are risk factors for becoming overweight and for the diseases that are linked to being overweight like hypertension and diabetes and all of that."

Professor McGarvey says another change in the health of Samoans over recent years is a decline in physical activity across all ages.