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Fiji Time: 7:39 PM on Friday 25 April

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Trade impact on health

By GERALDINE PANAPASA
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Update: 11:37AM SEVERAL trade agreements being negotiated by Pacific island countries are likely to have a big impact on the future ability to address non-communicable diseases, according to a report on Trade, Trade Agreements and Non-Communicable Diseases this week.

The March report, which was a compilation of views expressed by participants at the subregional workshop on trade and NCDs in the Pacific this year, highlighted the need for closer engagement between the health and trade sectors.

"The Pacific islands have 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.

"Increasing reliance on imported food has contributed to an epidemic of obesity and related NCDs in the region," the report said.

The workshop was held in Nadi from February 11-14 and jointly organised by the Pacific Research Centre for the Prevention of Obesity and Non-communicable Diseases (C-POND), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).