Lifestyle Diseases – A Review of Actions

Lifestyle Diseases – A Review Of Actions

Tue 15 Jul 2014

Story by The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA)

Since 2011 there has been a global conversation around non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and how worldwide we can address these often-preventable diseases (otherwise known as lifestyle diseases), which include diet-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Last week a review took place in New York to assess the progress achieved in the prevention and control of NCDs, which are currently the world’s number one killers causing around 60% of deaths globally.

For too long, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) - mainly cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes - have been a hidden epidemic. Yet since 2011 these diseases have been pushed up the global agenda and many actions have taken place to address them. Most notably is the adoption of the global “25 by 25” target World Health Organisation (WHO) which aims to reduce preventable deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025.

This overall target is to be achieved by a number of other goals and targets, which include halting the obesity epidemic, halting the rise in diabetes, reducing salt intake and addressing policies such as marketing to children. The NCD Review meeting last week in New York took place to assess how both locally and globally progress is being made to achieve this.

Progress Made So Far

• More than 190 Governments have agreed to the WHO global action plan to halt the epidemic and reduce premature deaths from non-communicable diseases.
• Of the 172 countries reporting data, 95 per cent have a unit or department in the Ministry of Healthy responsible for non-communicable diseases
• Half of countries now have an integrated operational plan along with a dedicated budget, and
• The number of countries monitoring the main risk factors, such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol, jumped from 30% in 2011 to 63% last year

Find out more about achievements made and how the status of NCDs looks in your country in the Non Communicable Diseases Country Profiles 2014 Report.

Despite these achievements there is still much work to be done and at the meeting last week UN World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan expressed concern about projected trends, especially as poor populations, the least able to cope, are being hit the hardest by NCDs.

"I see no lack of commitment. I see a lack of capacity to act, especially in the developing world.... The challenges presented by these diseases are enormous," - Margaret Chan.

Along with the need to increase the capacity of low- and middle-income countries to respond to NCDs, other points raised included calls for increased action to reduce exposure to risk factors, such as the increased consumption of processed and unhealthy foods and ensuring strong leadership and commitment to NCDs at the highest political level and ensuring that NCDs.

Find out more about the NCD Review by visiting the NCD Alliance website, and find out what your country is doing to prevent these lifestyle diseases here.

Join the conversation online with #NCDs and #NCDReview and check out NCD Free for great videos and content, plus more information on how you can get involved.

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation
@jamiefoodfdnUSA | @foodrev

Images: Left + Top Right: NCD Free, Bottom Right: Director General Margaret Chan and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, International Diabetes Federation


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