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Women's health critical to curbing Pacific child obesity

[Photo: 123rf via RNZI]

Pacific health ministers hope a focus on mothers will help curb a surge in child obesity in the region.

The ministers met in the Cook Islands last week and embraced a commitment to leave no one behind as they work towards their goal of "healthy Islands".

The Cook Islands Minister of Health Nandi Glassie said worsening non-communicable disease levels were reflected in the childhood obesity figures.

He said to combat childhood obesity they would start by ensuring mothers are healthy.

"To make sure they stick to the fundamentals, eating the right foods, doing exercise, so very fundamental stuff. It all starts from the mother and the other thing in terms of child obesity, as children are born we should introduce them into becoming more active."

Nandi Glassie said this would require a huge educational programme by health authorities.