EIGHTY-two per cent of Fiji's population die from non-communicable diseases, according to a research conducted by an NGO.
The Action for Children and the Aged (ACATA), under the Vodafone World of Difference program, stated that most people between the ages of 35 and 59 years died as a result of NCDs over the past 10 years.
Speaking to parents and teachers at Saint Augustine Public School in Labasa earlier this week, organisation executive director Rosan Lal said people who died either suffered from diabetes, chronic diseases, kidney failure or cancer.
"Contracting such sicknesses is a result of not eating the right type of food and not exercising daily," Mr Lal said.
"People don't take ownership of their own health and when they get sick, they depend on others to look after them.
"Having medical treatment overseas is very expensive, thus it's imperative for people to take the first step and eat right to ensure a healthy lifestyle."
Ministry of Health spokesman Peni Namotu confirmed that 82 per cent of deaths were NCD related for the past decade.
He urged the public not to eat a lot of processed food.