One quarter of school students overweight
Twenty four percent or one quarter of students in Fiji are said to be overweight. Education Minister Dr. Mahendra Reddy says a study of over six thousand secondary school students found obesity is increasing. Dr. Reddy has told parliament the students’ need for junk food is an addiction. “There are many students who give away or put aside their food parcels from home and instead consume junk food and soft drinks from school canteens. Sometimes children insist on not taking lunch from home but push for more pocket money to buy snacks.” He also reveals obesity has led to students falling sick and missing out on classes. The Education Ministry already had a policy on canteen food which bans deep fried foods, high sugar content junk food, sugar sweetened drinks and uncooked noodles.