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Weight-loss Program Helps to Improve Dietary Habits and Lifestyle in Kiribati

Weight-loss Program Helps to Improve Dietary Habits and Lifestyle in Kiribati

Being short of vegetables in their diet, the people of the Republic of Kiribati, one of the Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the Pacific Ocean, suffer from many diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity. These non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become a critical health issue in Kiribati. In order to resolve the problem of dietary imbalances, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) has implemented the Nutrition Enhancement Project since 2015 to improve the health condition of local residents.

Draftee Jang Yung-an of the 16th group of Taiwan Youth Overseas Service, who graduated from the Department of Agronomy, National Taiwan University, has designed a weight-loss program as part of the project. In his plan, there are four stages to implementing the program: familiarization with the environment, program promotion, course opening and review for the next session. After studying the dietary habits of the local people, Yung-an held promotional activities in which he explained how a healthy diet and lifestyle can prevent NCDs. Afterwards in his weight-loss program, he introduced the risks associated with obesity, basic concepts of nutrition and calories, the benefits of exercise, the necessity of making lifestyle adjustments, and how to make good use of local food ingredients. Finally, Yung-an reviewed the content of the course so that he could further improve on it for the next session.

In spite of his efforts, Yung-an still encountered many challenges. For example, it was common for students to arrive late or not show up for class, or even send someone else to take their place. All these influenced follow-up survey and analysis work. However, after participating in the program, the students gradually learned the correct concepts of nutrition and weight-loss and saw improvements in their body mass index (BMI) and weight.

Yung-an believes that implementing the weight-loss course in Kiribati is very meaningful work: students not only tone their bodies, but also improve their dietary habits and reduce their risk of NCDs in the long term. Yung-an is confident and optimistic about the program in the future.

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  • Date:2017/5/4