19 Oct 2011

Important to see where fat tax money will go, says Fiji NGO

8:07 pm on 19 October 2011

The head of the Fiji women's organisation femLINK Pacific says it'll be important to look at how the interim government plans to use any proceeds from a tax on fatty foods.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Peni Namotu, says the ministry aims to have a fat tax in place sometime next year but it's still at the planning stage.

World leaders, including those from the Pacific, committed to taking action on surging rates of obesity-related illnesses at last month's United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls says although a fat tax is one way the interim government can address the rise in non-communicable diseases, Fiji's political situation limits the input into its implementation.

"Non-communicable diseases and the rise is important. Good nutrition is also important. But if families could also be assisted in having more food gardens particularly through the availability of seeds and seedlines that would be really important."

FemLINK Pacific's Sharon Bhagwan Rolls.