Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Stop helping Pacific Islanders get even fatter and smoke themselves to death

I am sorry - poor people aren’t obese and they certainly can’t afford smokes.  

Let me re-phrase that statement to emphasis my following points. 

Truly poor people, like those up in Polynesia, shouldn’t be the fattest people on the planet, with an unhealthy perchance for smoking and still receive aid.     

Truly poor people in need of aid from countries like New Zealand don’t, for example, run symposiums focusing on the evils of soft-drink (google: Fizz, Auckland)   
Around 70 per cent of Western Samoans are obese. 

65 per cent of Tonga is obese. 

In basic terms you get fat by lack of exercise and eating/drinking too much.   

New Zealand gives both Samoa and Tonga close to NZD 20 million a year.  

Without this overseas aid all the countries of Polynesia would collapse.  

For example 40% of Samoa’s revenue comes from overseas donors.       

Governments like New Zealand like to point to tourism, education, infra-structure projects up in the islands being the core recipients of taxpayers money.   

What is conveniently left out of any sanitised Government report on aid are the crippling costs to the island economies having the fattest people, on the planet.

And stop blaming genetics.

Genetics doesn’t force a person to drink shitty soft drinks, eat canned corn beef in favour of more healthy traditional foods.  

Genetics doesn’t make you buy Pall Mall ciggies.    

Compare photos of Samoans, Fijians in the 1800’s with today.  

Since between 10 to 15 per cent (figures I found varied) of the Samoan population have  developed diabetes, these treatment costs alone are the largest part of Samoa’s health budget.   

Then add to this burden heart-attacks, strokes etc.   

Staggeringly only 16% of the Fijian population is aged more than 55 years due to premature preventable deaths.   

62% of Tongan men smoke. 

So much for Tonga ‘needing’ New Zealanders help. 

What for? 

A free carton of Bensons and Hedges for every family?    

And if you are buying smokes it’s way better to grab them off the shelves in say Tonga and Samoa where they are half the price as N.Z because they both don't impose taxes at a level anywhere near  necessary to cover the adverse health effects. 

The Island governments know ‘muggins’ New Zealand will cover the shortfall in cigarette taxes when the smokers end up in their hospital beds.

Being overweight and smoking is a death wish.    

What’s necessary is for New Zealand and other benefactors to employ some ‘tough love’ when it comes to aid in the islands.
Give their respective Governments targets to address obesity, bad health decisions or lose funding.

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