Australia's Pacific Islander people are dying for their love of food
Pacific Islanders' love of food is a key part of their culture, but for those in Australia it is leading to obesity and chronic disease.
Samoan community members are seven times more likely to present to hospital with diabetes complications, and are also more likely to die of preventable diseases such as heart and kidney disease.
A Queensland Government-funded program is working to change bad eating habits before it is too late.
Soifua Maloloina - or Healthy Living For Samoans - provides free cooking workshops for young people and mothers.
"By working with the community, we've been able to determine that they're consuming diets quite high in added sugar, fat, processed and packaged food," said community nutritionist Kym McClymont, who works with Pacific Islanders in Logan, south of Brisbane.
"Essentially junk food - things like fried chicken and soft drink.
"We're not saying don't ever eat those foods, we're just saying do it in moderation."
Lemalu Felise, a Samoan chief involved in the program, says it is targeting young people in particular.
"Because it's very hard to change how our older community cook and the way they prefer their foods," he said.
"I've seen a lot of young ones who care for their parents and grandparents when they're on their death bed and when nothing else can be done for them.
"The young ones always say, 'what can I do?'. This is part of what they can do."
Alberto Meleisea, 16, is one of the young people learning about healthy cooking.
"We've actually started using this type of cooking at home," he said.
"Before, it was mainly just the meat and a little bit of vegetables, but now we're putting in all the colourful foods like capsicum and stuff, so it tastes better too."
But community leaders know exercise also needs to be part of the solution.
Three years ago, Logan resident Fox Inivale gave up his job to become a personal trainer because he was so worried about the health of the Pacific Islander community.
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