Obesity in the Pacific
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nauruan residents walking around Nauru International Airport.
Young Nauruans in 1914
According to Forbes, Pacific island nations and associated states make up the top seven on a 2007 list of heaviest countries, and eight of the top ten. In all these cases, more than 70% of citizens age 15 and over are obese. A mitigating argument is that the BMI measures used to appraise obesity in Caucasian bodies may need to be adjusted for appraising obesity in Polynesian bodies, which typically have larger bone and muscle mass than Caucasian bodies.
Main article: Obesity in Nauru
Life expectancy has fallen to 64 in Tonga. Tongan life expectancy used to be in the mid-70s. Up to 40% of the population is said to have type 2 diabetes. Tongan Royal Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV, who died in 2006, holds the Guinness World Record for being the heaviest-ever monarch – 200kg.
In Fiji, strokes used to be rare in the under 50s, whilst doctors reported that they had become common amongst patients in their 20s and 30s.
Reasons for obesity in the Pacific islands are thought to include
- Much of the local diet is of processed, calorie-dense, imported food such as spamor corned beef, rather than fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, in part because past mining reduced the amount of arable land.. Some very unhealthy foods are sold in the Pacific islands due to relatively low wealth.
- a relatively sedentary lifestyle, including among children.
- cultural factors including
- past poor public education on diet, exercise and health(micronutrient deficiencies are also common),
- feasting and festivals continue currently to be major parts of life,
- imported foods have been given higher social status than local, healthier foods,and
- historically a large body size was associated with wealth, power and beauty.
High rates of obesity appear within 15 months of birth.
Obesity is leading to increased levels of illness, including diabetes and heart diseases.
- List of countries by Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Genetics of obesity
- New World Syndrome
- Epidemiology of obesity