20 Sep 2010

The WHO wants new approaches to lifestyle disease prevention in Pacific

4:16 pm on 20 September 2010

The World Health Organisation says new policies must be introduced in the north Pacific to tackle increasing problems caused by poor diets and physical inactivity.

The WHO is convening a workshop in Guam this week to help countries such as the Marshall Islands reduce and manage growing rates of non-communicable disease.

A WHO survey shows 73 percent of the population in the Federated States of Micronesia aged 25 to 64 is overweight and of that, 42 percent is obese.

A WHO representative from the South Pacific, Dr Chen Ken, says delegates will discuss how to develop national nutrition policies dealing with the marketing of food and non-alcoholic drinks, the consumption of salt and tobacco use.

"Then we hope when we have a policy we'll get support from the governments. At the same time we'll talk about how to take action, different countries -how to do it and how to bring this kind of approach to the public and increasing awareness in the public."

Dr Chen Ken from the WHO.