PEOPLE need to change traditional menus to ensure they live a longer life, says Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma.
He encouraged everyone to consider other dietary options apart from traditional ones.
Dr Sharma said the diet of the iTaukei and Fijians of Indian descent consisted of food with high starch and sugar content.
"Everyone has a right to choose the kind of food they eat and this means everyone has the right to choose life and death," he said.
"Fiji has been ranked fourth on the World Health Organization's obesity list behind Nauru, Samoa and Tonga. The list is topped by Nauru."
Dr Sharma said communicable diseases used to be the top killer plague but the development of vaccines and public health had curbed the rise of such diseases.
"In the '60s and '70s non-communicable diseases increased with the Pacific region recording a high number of cases currently. In some places in the Pacific, it is so high that more than 8 per cent of the people in the nation are obese.
"Obesity gives rise to other diseases like hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases."