Acknowledging obesity as a global epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed its Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health at the annual Health Assembly in Geneva.
According to a WHO press release, the new policy addresses two of the major risk factors responsible for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which now account for 60% of global deaths. NCDs include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity-related conditions.
The strategy specifies roles for reducing NCDs and emphasizes limiting saturated fat, trans fatty acid, salt and sugar, while increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. It also addresses the role of prevention in health services, food and agriculture policies, fiscal plans, consumer education and communication.
“This is a landmark achievement in global public health policy and provides our member states with a powerful instrument that will enable them to develop effective and integrated national strategies,” said Dr. Jong-Wook Lee, WHO Director-General, in the release.