Against the tide of change: Diet and health in the Pacific Islands

Hughes, Robert G. and Marks, Geoffrey C. (2010) Against the tide of change: Diet and health in the Pacific Islands. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110 5: S40-S43. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2010.03.006

Author Hughes, Robert G.
Marks, Geoffrey C.
Title Against the tide of change: Diet and health in the Pacific Islands
Journal name Journal of the American Dietetic Association   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0002-8223
Publication date 2010-05-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jada.2010.03.006
Volume 110
Issue 5
Start page S40
End page S43
Total pages 4
Place of publication New York, NY, U.S.A.
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Rates of chronic disease in Pacific island countries are among the highest in the world and they are the leading causes of morbidity and death. Recent reports indicate that many Pacific populations are also experiencing high levels of vitamin and mineral deficiency diseases. Prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia in 16 Pacific countries now ranges from 7% to 57% (highest among women and children). Iodine deficiency disorders and vitamin A deficiency are also severe problems in some of the Pacific countries. The situation varies across countries, but is illustrated by the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Vitamin A deficiency affects 55% to 76% of children in Chuuk State, 51% in Pohnpei, 63% in Kosrae, and 34% in Yap; and anemia is common (38% women, 33% children). Malnutrition occurs among the preschool children (10% stunted, 13% underweight), whereas obesity (33% of women), hypertension (17%), and diabetes (12%) continue to increase in adults.

Left unabated, this crushing burden of disease will not only lead to premature death and disability for thousands of people, but it threatens to overwhelm already-stretched health resources and services. This commentary briefly summarizes nutritional issues common among the Pacific island populations that have been aggravated by advancing cultural changes and that have had an adverse impact on health.
Keyword Ethnic-differences
Thrifty genotype
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 2009. This article is reprinted from the October 2009 issue of the Journal (2009;109:1700-1703).

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Public Health Publications
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Created: Sun, 23 May 2010, 10:02:08 EST