The editorial in today's Fiji Times is about obesity in Fiji and suggests that Fijians are the fourth most overweight group of people in the world. I think Tonga figures higher than that. Why? Go into a bush village in Fiji and most of the men and women are moderately built, even very healthy and lean. Of course the culture of some Pacific Island groups is that you look healthy if you are fat, and sick if you are skinny. So what is going on? As the medical people suggest it is the change of diet, junk food, fast meals such as buns and noodles, less fruit as vegetables which would be in the traditional diet and still is in island and inland communities. The food in Fiji is certainly flavoursome and large feasts figure in many traditional occasions - funerals, weddings, family rites of passage, visiting dignitories, and the talatalas are often fat because they are given the top of the table serve! And then you get obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure. Cut the salt! Cut the fat! Go vegetarian six days of the week I reckon. And walk a lot.
And Samoans too of course.