Check out the Ministry of Healths new and improved website with plenty of information about health and wellness in Fiji as well as loads of information on healthy eating in the ‘your health’ section.
The NFNC’s website is run by local Nutritionists and full of important resources such as Fiji’s Plan of Action for Nutrition as well as national nutrition programs and nutrition resources including the 3 Food Groups Posts, Nutrition Guidelines and handouts for everything from high cholesterol to anaemia as well as handy gardening guides.
Khana Kakana Cookbook
Khana Kakana is a brand new and uniquely Fijian cookbook that promotes healthy eating using fresh local ingredients. It’s packed full of delicious recipes, nutrition tips and wellness inspiration stories that celebrate the beauty and diversity of Fiji. Best of allit’s FREE! Hard copies are running out quickly but the good news is you can see the whole book online here.
If you’re in Fiji and looking for more individual dietary advice visit a dietitian at your local health centre or visit the ‘Your Health, Your Future’ Section
Where are we now?
A snapshot of Fiji’s health status from the 2011 STEPS survey results.
The 2011 STEPs survey revealed 32.1% of Fijians are Obese (BMI over 30) and 66.9% are overweight (BMI over 25). This was an 8% increase from 2002 results. Overweight and Obesity are major risk factors for noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which are the leading cause of death in Fiji, type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis) and cancer (endometrial, breast, and colon). The risk for these non-communicable diseases increases proportionately to increases in BMI. Obesity is caused by both genetic and lifestyle factors which include inactivity and high-calorie diets. The 2010 Global Burden of disease study identified obesity as the leading risk factor for disease in Fiji followed by dietary risk factors.
Fruits and Vegetables
Despite markets full of fresh produce, fields full of leafy greens and bananas and pawpaws on every tree only 16.1% of people are eating 5 servings of fruit/ vegetables a day. Eating less than 5 servings (400g) of fruits and vegetables is estimated to cause around 14% of gastrointestinal cancer deaths, 11% of ischemic heart disease deaths and 9% of stroke deaths globally.
The WHO estimates that 1.7 million (2.8%) of deaths worldwide are attributable to low fruit and vegetable consumption. The photo above shows what 5 servings of fruits and vegetables looks like on a plate. In Fiji, local fruits and vegetables are rich in Vitamin A and Iron - the two nutrients many women and children are deficient in.
Heart Disease is Fijis number one killer and as blood pressure increases the risk of this so greatly it is considered the most important health indicator. 31% (one in three) of adults have high blood pressure (SBP > 140 and/or DBP> 90 mmHg).
High Blood Pressure increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can also cause blindness, irregularities of the heartbeat and heart failure. Excess dietary salt is thought to cause up to 50% of high blood pressure cases. While the maximum daily intake of sodium (salt) should be no more than 2000mg it is estimated many Fijians are consuming between 4000-9000mg a day thanks to high salt foods such as salty curries, noodles, tinned food, bread and crackers.
Fiji has one of the highest rates of Type 2 Diabetes in the world with between 1in 5 and 1 in 4 people affected by the disease. It is also the fastest growing NCD with a 10% increase in prevalence found between 2002 and 2011 from 19.6- 29.6%. No longer is it a problem felt only by Fijians of Indian decent as it now shows equal prevalence in iTaukei populations.
Diabetes is caused by both genetic and lifestyle factors including obesity, poor dietary patterns and physical inactivity. Diabetes is now being seen in children as young as 11 due to lifestyle risk factors.
Diabetes increases our risk of heart disease, reduced blood flow which can lead to nerve damage, poor wound healing and even limb amputation, increases our risk of blindness and Kidney damage.
Tei Tei Taveuni
NGO formed by a group of farmers with an interest in sustainable farming, soil regeneration, food security, conservation, and environmental awareness.
Dietitians and Nurses Wellness Toolkit
Around the country dietitians and nurses are equipped with screening materials for NCDs to help raise awareness and encourage people into healthy lifestyles.
Founded in 2001 to work with marginalised communities in underserved areas of Fiji for their social and economic development. They have created a market for local gourmet foods with plenty of recipes on their website to share.
2014 Survey Currently Underway
2009 Food Balance Sheet
See more reports including micronutrient and Anemia updates at the National Food and Nutrition Centres Website, click here.
Large Download 20.8 MB
Three Food Groups Poster
My Healthy Plate
See more publications including Anemia and gardening handouts at the National Food and Nutrition Centres Website, click here.