The prime minister of Tonga has asked other leaders to join the fight against obesity by taking part in a year-long weight-loss challenge. Akilisi Pohiva told a newspaper that he will set the challenge at the Pacific Island Forum in the tiny nation of Nauru in September. He said: "We should all get together for a weight-loss competition for an entire year, so when we meet the following year, we will weigh in again and see who has lost the most." He added: "We have been [talking about] the same issue, over the years but it doesn't seem to work."
Mr Pohiva also spoke about Tonga's life expectancy going down because of obesity. He said: "It is now down to 68 years old. from] 71. It has reduced [a lot]." He hopes his challenge will encourage Pacific islanders to lose weight. He believes they will look after their weight better if they see their leaders doing the same. The Pacific Island Forum said Pacific island nations were losing their fight against child obesity. The World Health Organization said 20 per cent of children between the ages of five and 19 were obese in 10 Pacific island countries.