Pacific islanders pay heavy price for abandoning traditional diet Replacing traditional foods with imported, processed food has contributed to the high prevalence of obesity and related health problems in the Pacific islands. At the Pacific Food Summit, participating countries and territories unanimously endorsed a framework for action on food security. How air pollution is destroying our health. Simple nutrition signposts can be useful and should be encouraged, and ingredient labels are really important for monitoring food safety and quality. We tried to put things in terms of health and development and a need to work hand-in-hand if we are going to make an impact. Nutrition labels are not only inconsistent but often not in English, the common language spoken in most Pacific island countries. Mandating clear, consistent labelling is crucial, says Bell.
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The high cost of conducting national food consumption surveys limits the extent to which they can collect information on the causes of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. In an effort to overcome this, countries are working with WHO and partner agencies to pool the data and resources of different sectors, to improve data collection, analysis and use for planning. For the first time ever, the United Nations General Assembly will hold a summit in September to address the threat posed by noncommunicable diseases particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The often calorie-rich and nutrient-poor imported foods have a stronger appeal. At the Pacific Food Summit, participating countries and territories unanimously endorsed a framework for action on food security. Life expectancy data make clear the urgent need for action. This month, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in collaboration with The World Bank is holding a workshop of national statistics officers to improve data collection and use.