Forgotten world (28): Tonga

Nations don’t come much smaller than Tonga with a population of a mere 110,000. However, countries don’t come much fatter with 92% of all over 30s overweight or obese and almost 20% of adults suffering from diabetes. As a result, the death rate from nutritional conditions is 10 times that of the UK.
Why is this? Tongans eat a vast amount of fat and adore suckling pig. Also they enjoy high carbohydrate foods such as the root vegetable taro, sweet potatoes and yam. Obviously the authorities are concerned and there is an obesity action plan called Project Ma’alahi.
A former British protectorate, Tonga became fully independent in 1970, though it was never formally colonised. An archipelago of more than 170 islands spread over an area of the South Pacific roughly the size of Japan, Tonga is sometimes called the Friendly Islands and it is the last Polynesian monarchy.