27 Aug 2010

Fiji warns about population becoming unhealthy

1:48 pm on 27 August 2010

A doctor in Fiji says the population is becoming too unhealthy, with too many dying in the prime of their working lives.

The president of the Fiji College of General Practitioners, Dr Ram Raju, says it is a concern that more than 80 percent of people are dying from non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

He says the increase in the number of obese people is alarming.

"Obesity is also rising, which is a sad thing, you know. 80 percent of the people who are aged over 40 are obese. And our figures show that 24 percent of those over 40 are grossly obese. People need to go out and do more exercise."

Dr Raju says only 16 percent of the population in Fiji is aged over 50.

He says the Ministry of Health does have programmes to educate people about their health but those in rural areas often have poor access to medical care, meaning their condition goes unmonitored.