10 Apr '11, 3am

Pacific nations battle obesity epidemic: NUKU'ALOFA (Tonga) - ON TONGA'S supermarket shelves, huge cans of corne...

NUKU'ALOFA (Tonga) - ON TONGA'S supermarket shelves, huge cans of corned beef the size of paint tins replaced traditional fare such as fish and coconuts long ago - contributing to an obesity epidemic that sees the Pacific region ranked as the fattest in the world. Meat in Tonga almost invariably comes in a tin, whether it be turkey breast, meat loaf, luncheon meat or Spam, which can be bought in a variety of forms including smoked, with chilli or laced with cheese for an extra calorie hit. The common denominator, Tonga's Chief Medical Officer Malakai Ake says, is that the 'junk meat' is loaded with salt and saturated fats, meaning islanders' waistlines continue to expand. 'This is the biggest issue facing Tonga,' he told AFP, citing soaring levels of weight-related coronary disease, diabetes and strokes among islanders. 'Every other day there's a funeral, a next-door neigh...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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