Trouble in Paradise – Nutritional Challenges in the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are located in the South Pacific Ocean about 3,000 kilometres to the North East of New Zealand. White sandy beaches and clear lagoons attract over 130,000 tourists a year, providing work for islanders and accounting for as much as 90% of the state’s economy. Land once used for agriculture is now being used for luxury resorts and holiday cottages. The islands used to export bananas and pineapples, but now the nation is 82% food import dependent, relying on weekly flights from New Zealand and cargo delivered by boat. Western style fast-food outlets have also arrived, where islanders spend their wages provided by the tourist industry. But as tourism has blossomed, so has obesity, such that in 2012, Ministry of Health research found a staggering 88% of men were overweight or obese.
Produced by: Declan McCormack