A forum being held in Nadi, Fiji, is discussing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the region and the attempts to halt the increasing trends in premature deaths from NCDs worldwide.

According to the Fiji Times Online, close to 63 per cent of people between the ages of 25 and 64 are overweight and obese and, according to the WHO Rep to the South Pacific, Dr. Ken Chen, the prevalence of diabetes in the same age group was 16 per cent.

"There is enough evidence of the problem of NCD and I believe I don't need to remind you all of the magnitude of NCD in the Pacific," he said.

He said from the world health assembly, countries from around the world including the Pacific have taken NCD to another level at the UN General Assembly when they unanimously adopted a resolution on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

"It seeks to halt the increasing trends in premature deaths from NCDs worldwide, with a particular focus on developing countries," he said.

According to the report by Fiji Times Online, Dr. Chen said that 'at the regional level, the convening of the first ever Pacific Food Summit in April 2010 comprising the multiple sectors from PICs to address issues of food security in the pacific was a milestone achievement and had a lot of drive from the NCD agenda'.

"I call on every country in the Pacific to initiate some work on reducing salt consumption in their respective countries in addition to promotion of fruits and vegetables," he said.

WHO is happy to assist you in that work."