WHO’s global strategy on diet, physical activity and health. Response to a worldwide epidemic of non-communicable diseases
AbstractWorld health is in transition. Epidemiologically, many low- and middle-income countries are now experiencing a double burden of disease, whereby in addition to infectious diseases, they are facing a growing toll of death and disability from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The world population is aging, while increased development has been accompanied by rising disposable incomes, urbanization, mechanization and the globalization of food markets, leading to lifestyle and behaviour changes that adversely impact population health. These lifestyle changes include dietary changes (nutrition transition), reduced physical activity levels and increased tobacco use. The result of these changes is that NCDs are increasing at alarming rates globally. The burden of NCDs in developing countries already outweighs that of communicable diseases, both in countries with high and low mortality. In 2002, NCDs accounted for 60% of total mortality worldwide and 46% of the global burd en of disease. In May this year, the World Health Organization’s full membership is scheduled to consider or adopt the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, which provides countries with a wide-ranging set of policy options to address these key NCD risks
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