News Release

Learning, Eating and Dancing to Better Health in Savaii, Samoa

Certificates, nutritious refreshments and a Zumba class help diabetes prevention programme graduates and their supporters celebrate

The Pacific Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has targeted reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes as the key humanitarian focus for the Area.


Elder Meliula M. Fata, Area Seventy of the Church, and the group’s facilitator, Faatupu Inga, both spoke, after which certificates evidencing completion of the course were given to the graduates.    

Those involved plan to do this by: (1) increasing awareness and understanding of the general principles of health and wellness; and (2) enabling people, through increased knowledge, to make necessary changes to their lifestyle.

The Church’s Pacific Area Welfare Department developed a 12-week programme called “Eat Healthy & Be Active” to address the problem of type 2 diabetes. Samoa was chosen as one of the places to test the programme.

Participants in Savai’i recently completed the 12-week programme and a graduation ceremony was held to celebrate.


Lily Tiatia reported losing 16 kilograms over the 12-week programme. She said “What I learned was, first understanding the purpose of the program, and then … do it. It’s vital to have family involvement so there is support for one another. We are looking at continuing the programme because of the great good that has come out of it.”

Another programme participant, Teleni Taala, suggested: “Usefulness of the program is creating awareness of the need for healthy living and eating habits, specifically, losing weight, and changes in attitudes towards eating healthy food and maintaining commitment.”

Consistent with principles taught in the course, following the graduation ceremony graduates and guests were invited to participate in a Zumba class and enjoy healthy refreshments prepared by programme participants.


According to Pam Cameron, a senior welfare missionary serving in Samoa, “There were many individual successes and, overall, the programme was both lots of fun and worthwhile. Many of the participants testified of both the spiritual and temporal benefits of eating healthier and exercising more – what an AMAZING programme!”

Mormons believe in following a health plan known as the "Word of Wisdom".

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