One-week training course for Pohnpei obesity control was held in Fukuoka, Japan

Kaori MIZUMOTO, PhD., RD
One-week training course for Pohnpei obesity control was held in Fukuoka, Japan between 18th and 23rd December 2017 and the following 7 people from the Pohnpei State Departments of Health Services and Education participated in the course.
1. Mr. Hinden Jaipol ALEXANDER
2. Mr. Francisco Koropin KERMAN
3. Ms. Delpihn ABRAHAM 4. Ms. Meryda INOS, Health Specialist
5. Mr. Lenson J TAULUNG, Teacher with Kolonia Primary School
6. Mr. Lynn Randol HARRY, Teacher with Ohmine Primary School 7. Mr. Jeremy DONRE, Teacher Saladak with Primary School
The training course is a part of the project titled INTRODUCTION OF WEIGHT CONTROL PROGRAM FOR OBESITY REVENTION IN POHNPEI, being conducted by Fukuoka Women’s University and the Pohnpei State Departments of Health Services and Education under JICA partnership program. The project is targeting 3 primary school areas (Kolonia, Ohmine and Saladak primary school areas), aiming to establish “Weight control for obesity prevention program" through its pilot programs.
Obesity is a major contributor to the global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) today. The prevalence of obesity reported by WHO in 2015 doubled in the past decade, exceeding 10% of the world population (BMI ≥30 kg/m2 male: 10.7%; female: 15.2%). Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) marked much higher prevalence of obesity than the word prevalence (BMI ≥30 kg/m2 male: 31.0%; female: 43.7%). In order to modify the situation, the government and non-governmental organizations have worked together for past years; such as carrying out the national campaign called “Go Local”, however, the latest statistics have indicated more efforts required to lower the prevalence of obesity in the country.


Seeking effective interventions to lower the prevalence, Laboratory of Clinical Nutrition of Fukuoka Women’s University conducted a study in 2014 to identify risk factors of gaining weight in Pohnpei State. The findings suggested that people need to correctly understand health-related risks of obesity and gain knowledge and skills of dietary modification, and introduce physical activities which do not require special equipment as well. The study also suggested importance to start such knowledge gain and behavioral modification in life stage of childhood.
Since obesity is a major contributor to the global burden of NCDs, further expansion of obesity issue would result lowered Quality of Life of the people in FSM and increased medical expenditure attributed to NCD treatments. Those would be affecting sound social and economic development of the country in the future. It is inevitable to identify some effective interventions to curve the increasing prevalence of obesity.
The training course in Japan is the first activity of the project to review the school health curriculum and produce effective materials through lectures presented by professors in the field of public health, clinical nutrition, epidemiology, behavioral medicine, etc. During the course they also met Mr. Wataru Aso, the Honorary Consulate-General of the Federated States of Micronesia in Fukuoka. Mr. Aso welcomed 7 participants with Japan’s traditional food.
At the end of the course, 7 participants developed the basis of school health teaching material and an action plan. On 23rd December, they completed all the course program and left Japan for home the following day. It is expected what they learned would be reflected into the project.