Fiji is ranked the fourth most obese nation in the world, according to Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma.
He said on Friday the iTaukei people were more obese than Fijians of Indian descent.
“The Pacific is the most vulnerable out of all the regions,” he said, adding Fiji was rated behind Nauru, Samoa and Tonga.
Dr Sharma said with NCDs being a global issue, especially in developing countries, the Pacific as a region was in a crisis mode.
“The most obese people are here,” he said.
“We have obesity, hypertension, diabetes, stress and these contribute to NCDs.”
Dr Sharma said Fiji must address the problem and his ministry would need to look at how it could offer innovative options to achieve this.
“Peri-urban and urban children are becoming obese.
“The children in rural areas are not as obese as those in cities because of what they drink and eat.
“They consume high calorie drinks and low nutritional value food rather than traditional foods.”
He said in many cases working mothers couldn’t find the time to cook and as a result children went to school with lunches of buns and noodles.
– FIJI TIMES