Why Is American Samoa's Unhealthy Culture

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In contrast, American Samoa is the country with the highest obesity rate, with 74.9% of the total population classified as obese. The country has cultivated an unhealthy culture. Since most healthy and natural ingredients are imported from other countries to the island, they are often more expensive. Fast-food restaurants offer cheaper, more easily accessible alternatives. In addition, the traditional foods of the islands such as fresh fish, meat, and local fruits and vegetables have been replaced by rice, sugar, flour, canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, soft drinks and beer. The diet is high in calories and with little nutritional value. According to, research shows that actions to promote healthy eating, such as providing calorie information, were rare among restaurants. This site …show more content…

However, in both grocery and convenience stores, several of the healthier option items were more expensive than the corresponding regular (less healthy) option items. The majority of both providers also had signs/displays that encouraged less healthy eating (e.g., promotional signs encouraging purchase of canned corned beef). In addition, costs of healthier items were more expensive than less healthy items in American Samoa restaurants. Healthier entrées and side items were more expensive than the less healthy entrées and side items. There were also minimal efforts to promote healthy eating, such as providing calorie or other nutrition information, identifying healthy items with menu labeling on menus, and having menu notations that encourage healthy requests. The absence of government intervention, regulation, and public awareness in relation to the rate of obesity and levels of nutrition suggests a correlation between the efforts of food providers and healthy

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