A WORKSHOP highlighting the link between trade agreements and health, will take place in Nadi next week.
The four-day workshop will assist country delegates ensure their trade agreements and policies take full account of public health concerns such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer and that their country's health initiatives are trade-compliant.
A statement said the workshop which would be led by a number of regional and international technical experts would be attended by health, trade and civil society representatives from nine Pacific Island countries — Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu along with representatives from the region's development partners.
Research showed that Pacific island countries had some of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world, with obesity rates as high as 75 per cent and diabetes rates as high as 47 per cent in some countries.
This phenomenon has been largely attributed to changing lifestyles and increasing reliance on highly processed foods.