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Health issues

Shayal Devi
Saturday, July 26, 2014

THE percentage of people suffering from diabetes in the country has increased from 16 per cent in 2002 to 30 per cent last year.

National adviser for non-communicable diseases Dr Isimeli Tukana said almost two-thirds of Fiji's population was also overweight or obese.

"While we are talking about eating, 85 per cent of Fijians are not eating enough fruits and vegetables daily," Dr Tukana said.

"Our smoking figures have come down now. Only 17 per cent of our population smoke and 30 per cent consume alcohol."

Dr Tukana said it was important to address the high number of people who did not include enough fruits and vegetables in their staple diet.

"Not everybody exercises, drinks alcohol or smokes but everyone eats. We are trying to control the salt, sugar and fat that people consume."

Dr Tukana was present at a workshop on controlling marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages and unhealthy foods to children at Sea Breeze Hotel in Lautoka yesterday.

He said they were pleased with the support from non-government agencies.

"Fundamentally, we are asking them to join and reduce sugar consumption in the country. We were expecting more than 80 people and it's a brilliant turn-out today (yesterday).

He said they aimed to raise the issue with non-government and faith-based organisations.

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