In a novel attempt to tacklethe problems of obesity in his country, a governor in Turkey has taken theinteresting stance of restricting the access to the first three elevators in apublic building. His advice to people seems to be that they should take thestairs instead.

Dursun Ali Sahin, head ofthe province of Edirne in northwestern Turkey, issued the ban from New Year’sEve in response to what he perceived as health concerns, and from now on onlythe disabled and elderly people will be permitted to use the elevators incertain buildings. The ban does not extend to hospitals and nursing homes, withsupervisers being put in place to ensure compliance in the public buildings affected.

Sahin has also expressed hiswish to extend the ban to the private sector in his province if at allpossible, stating that: "Taking the stairs instead of elevators canadd an extra day to your life."

It is not the first time that Sahin has attempted to tackle healthissues in his country, as back in September he allegedly ordered cafes andrestaurants to reduce the number of sugar cubes that people had in their teafrom what is traditionally accepted as two to only one. While governor inanother Turkish province, he attempted to cut down on the amount of salt beingingested by requiring restaurants to remove salt shakers. That was in responseto reports that the amount of salt being taken in was five times above thelevels that the World Health Organisation recommended.

The Turksdo have reason to be concerned about levels of obesity, given that a recent TurkishHealth Ministry survey suggested that obesity rates may be as high as 30percent (although OECD figures in 2011 had that figure nearer 22 percent).

Obesityis not just a concern in Turkey though as more and more countries are worriedabout the types and amounts of food that the public are consuming.

Thecelebrity chef, Jamie Oliver has frequently attempted to highlight and tacklethe issue of child obesity in Britain and only last year invited the deputyPrime Minister, Nick Clegg for talks to discuss the matter, even going so faras to postulate that sugar should betaxed in a similar fashion to tobacco.

On the American-owned islandof American Samoa in the Pacific Ocean, part of the Samoan archipelago chain, theissue is even more obvious.

The population there have been ranked as being themost obese in the world, estimates suggesting that there may be as high as 94percent obesity. It has prompted action from both the public and private sector,with one airline going as far as weighing every passenger with their luggageand charging them accordingly. The healthcare sector has attempted to encouragepeople on the island to lead more healthy lives to hopefully avoid later healthissues as they get older.