World Bank to help Samoa fight lifestyle disease crisis

The World Bank has stepped in to assist Samoa address the country's growing non-communicable or lifestyle diseases crisis.

The bank has offered to fund research, which would enable data collection to help the government improve its taxation policy on tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food.

Lifestyle diseases are a major problem in Samoa with diabetes, heart disease, and strokes now accounting for almost half of all deaths.

Samoa also has one of the highest obesity rates in the Pacific at 54 per cent, while obesity rates among Samoan women are 66 per cent.

The World Health Organisation says those rates have increased in Samoa over the last decade.

The Samoa Observer reports that the one-year study will start next month.


Photo file RNZ. Caption: Children take part in the Nobesity Samoa programme