The Pacific Nurses' Forum held in Fiji revealed that Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death in Fiji and the Pacific.According to Fiji Times Online, Healthy Youth Healthy Community project head, Gade Waqa, made the comment at the Forum.
According to Waqa, NCDs are a result of poor eating habits and 'nutrition intake for the people in the Pacific had changed drastically over the past years because of the influences brought by modernisation'.
'Ms Waqa said statistics provided by the Ministry of Health showed 50 per cent of deaths in 1980 were NCD related' and "according to the NCD Steps survey in 2000, the mortality rate due to NCD was 82 per cent".
With modernization and the availability of convenience foods in local shops like tinned fish and meat, islanders are choosing to consume these foods rather than grow their own food and catch fresh fish and such. These convenience foods tend to contain preservatives, lots of salt, high fat content and such ingredients that are unhealthy when consumed too much and lead to NCDs.
The healthiest foods are the ones we in the region are lucky enough to find virtually in our own backyards. Green, leafy vegetables, fruits, root crops, fresh fish from the ocean the surrounds us are the healthiest foods to consume.