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‘10th fattest people on earth’ must do something

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 29, 2012) – The director of a sport and nutrition company in Samoa is calling on the World Health Organization to tell people in his country eating coconuts is good for them.

Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, which can lead to kidney failure, are on the rise everywhere and in Pacific countries health systems are struggling to offer sufficient treatment.

In January, Samoa’s health minister told parliament the number of people requiring dialysis in the seven years since the National Kidney Foundation was established has increased 12-fold.

Edutech Samoa Limited’s Uaea Apelu says 50 years ago, non-communicable diseases were unheard of in Samoa.

"We are the 10th fattest people on earth, so we’ve got to do something here. And fortunately I think we have a chance because you don’t need money, you don’t need United Nations, you don’t need ADB, you don’t need the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to give us the money to eat coconuts in Samoa. We have coconuts in Samoa."

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