“Obesity rates worldwide have doubled in the last three decades, even as blood pressure and cholesterol levels have dropped,” according to a series of papers published Friday in the Lancet, the Associated Press/New York Times reports (8/25). According to the researchers, “1.5 billion adults are overweight and another half-a-billion are obese,” and “the rise in obesity is likely to lead to an increase in the number of people afflicted by diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other illnesses, adding to the cost of healthcare,” VOA News’ “Breaking News” blog writes (8/25).
Non Communicable Disease/Chronic Disease
David Stuckler of the University of Cambridge, Sanjay Basu of the University of California, San Francisco, and Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, write in a BMJ commentary that misconceptions and fallacies “have led to serious under-budgeting for non-communicable diseases” (NCDs). The authors question whether food companies, or lobbying groups and non-governmental organizations that are influenced by food corporations, should “be viewed as trusted partners and have a seat at the table during public health negotiations” leading up to the U.N. High-level Meeting on NCDs.
In anticipation of the September 2011 U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) “should not only look at the lessons learned in the control of NCDs in developed countries, but also those from other areas of public health, especially AIDS, which can inform the design of an effective and sustainable response to NCDs in developing countries,” Rebecca Dirks from FHI 360 and colleagues write in this PLoS Medicine Policy Forum editorial piece.
U.N. member state representatives recently reached an agreement “on a political declaration document for the 19 September U.N. high-level meeting on the prevention and control of on non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” although the document is “somewhat watered down from an original version,” ScienceInsider reports (Reardon, 9/7). “The process has hit delays and setbacks, including resistance from some member countries to setting hard targets for reducing disease,” according to the PBS Newshour blog “The Rundown” (Miller, 9/7).
In this Sydney Morning Herald opinion piece, Boyd Swinburn, a professor and director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University in Australia, examines how “rich countries, … particularly the U.S. and European Union but also Australia, Canada and New Zealand, … are joining forces with tobacco, food, alcohol and pharmaceutical corporations to water down commitments that might flow from” this month’s U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in New York.
NPR’s food blog “The Salt” reports on the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves’ efforts to “bring in celebrities, chefs and politicians to help create awareness for the need for cleaner fuels and better cookstoves,” the smoke and gases from which contribute to nearly two million deaths a year — more than malaria — according to a study released by the WHO last week. “The technology is easy, but getting the stoves and cleaner fuels to impoverished millions is not,” the blog writes.
In this Scientist opinion piece, Edward Partridge, president of the American Cancer Society and director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, president of health care and education at the American Diabetes Association, and Ralph Sacco, immediate past president of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and professor and chairman of neurology at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, write that while last month’s U.N. High-level Meeting to discuss non-communicable diseases (NCDs) helped to raise awareness about the burden of NCDs, several important steps must be taken immediately to prevent and control the diseases.
Chicago Council On Global Affairs Report Calls On Agriculture, Food Sectors To Fight Global Rise In NCDs
“A new report (.pdf) released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, ‘Bringing Agriculture to the Table: How Agriculture and Food Can Play a Role in Preventing Chronic Disease,’ calls on the agriculture and food sector to play a role in mitigating the global rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and identifies…
In this post in the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End the Neglect” blog, Charles Ebikeme, a writer for the All Results Journals who has worked as a research scientist on African sleeping sickness, examines a “blurring” link between non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), writing, “The…
“Kenyans marked the World Mental Health Day Monday with a pledge to increase public investments in the treatment of mental illnesses, which affects at least 10 million people in the East African nation,” Afrique en ligne reports, adding, “Kenya’s Medical Services Minister Anyang Nyong’o said estimates show that at least one in every four Kenyans suffer from one form of mental-health related ailment.”