Western life and diet isn’t doing Pacific islanders any favors. David Brooks of the AFP is on it:
Pacific islands are in the midst of a crisis of obesity and its associated dangers of diabetes, strokes and heart disease.Spam? Oh man, I just threw up in my mouth a little.
A diet which used to be dominated by fish, root crops, green leaves, coconuts and fruit is now heavily reliant on fatty imported meats, rice, and sugar and fat-laden processed snack foods.
Many islanders are now urbanised and drive to the local shop to buy tins of corned beef, spam, cooking oil and rice instead of tending crops and gathering seafood in the lagoon and surrounding ocean.
"What we have in this country is a raging epidemic. We have 6,000 to 8,000 cases of diabetes out of a population of 53,000 people," says Carl Hacker, the Marshall Islands director of economic policy, planning and statistics.