The combined overweight and obesity prevalence in American Samoa stands at roughly 94 percent, making American Samoa the most overweight and obese country in the world. That obesity rate is directly associated with a high prevalence of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases. Health educators from American Samoa Community College partnered with TVZK, the local public television station, to broadcast the HBO series The Weight of the Nation, in the first widespread, continual health communications and social marketing campaign to combat the problem. All viewers who responded to a survey reported increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. About 47 percent of residents reported growing the highly nutritious, edible laupele in home vegetable gardens.
NIFA originally published this impact in the NIFA 2017 Annual Report. Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.
Read more about Studying a Mass Media Health Campaigns Reach and Effect on Obesity.