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prime minister of Tonga has challenged leaders of other Pacific nations to lose weight. He is asking them to join fight against obesity by taking part in one-year-long weight loss challenge. prime minister, Akilisi Pohiva, told Samoa Observer newspaper that he will set challenge when leaders meet at Pacific Island Forum in tiny nation of Nauru in September. He said: "We should all get together for weight-loss competition for an entire year, so when we meet following year, we will weigh in again and see who has lost the most." He added: "We have been [talking about] 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 and weight-related issues. He said: "It is now down to 68 years old, yet at one stage it was 71. It has reduced significantly." He hopes his weight-loss challenge will encourage Pacific islanders to lose weight. He said: "Once leaders are adapting to that mindset they would be determined to get their people [doing] same...and go from there." Secretary General of Pacific Island Forum said Pacific island nations were losing their fight against child obesity. World Health Organization said 20 per cent of children between ages of five and 19 were obese in 10 Pacific island countries.

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