Perspectives of Fijian Policymakers on the Obesity Prevention Policy Landscape

A.M. Hendriks*, M.Y. Delai, A.M. Thow, J.S. Gubbels, N.K. de Vries, S.P.J. Kremers, M.W. Jansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In Fiji and other Pacific Island countries, obesity has rapidly increased in the past decade. Therefore, several obesity prevention policies have been developed. Studies show that their development has been hampered by factors within Fiji's policy landscape such as pressure from industry. Since policymakers in the Fijian national government are primarily responsible for the development of obesity policies, it is important to understand their perspectives; we therefore interviewed 15 policymakers from nine Fijian ministries. By applying the "attractor landscape" metaphor from dynamic systems theory, we captured perceived barriers and facilitators in the policy landscape. A poor economic situation, low food self-sufficiency, power inequalities, inappropriate framing of obesity, limited policy evidence, and limited resource sharing hamper obesity policy developments in Fiji. Facilitators include policy entrepreneurs and policy brokers who were active when a window of opportunity opened and who strengthened intersectoral collaboration. Fiji's policy landscape can become more conducive to obesity policies if power inequalities are reduced. In Fiji and other Pacific Island countries, this may be achievable through increased food self-sufficiency, strengthened intersectoral collaboration, and the establishment of an explicit functional focal unit within government to monitor and forecast the health impact of policy changes in non-health sectors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number926159
Number of pages10
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015




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