“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 the run up to the U.N. summit on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), there are fears that industry interests might be trumping evidence-based public health interventions,” BMJ reports. “Many hope that this meeting will force [NCDs] into the spotlight just as the first health-related U.N. summit did for AIDS a decade ago,” but “[w]ith only weeks to go before the summit … [d]iscussions have stopped on the document that forms the spine of the summit,” BMJ writes.
“We were deeply perturbed to learn that the negotiations for the Outcomes Document of the U.N. High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), a mere month or so away, had stalled because member states failed to reach consensus,” Nalini Saligram, CEO of Arogya World, and Sandeep Kishore, an MD/PhD candidate at the Cornell/ Rockefeller/ Sloan-Kettering Institute, write in a Huffington Post opinion piece.
The NCD Alliance, which represents about 2,000 health organizations from around the world focused on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), “on Thursday accused the United States, Canada and Europe of harming efforts to fight cancer, diabetes, heart and other diseases because they will not agree to set United Nations targets,” Reuters reports (Kelland, 8/18). The first-ever U.N. High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of NCDs is scheduled for September 19-20 in New York.
In aÂ post in the State Department’s “DipNote” blog, Krysten Carrera, a Presidential Management fellow at the National Cancer Institute currently serving in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs,Â discusses “the growing international effort to address the threat of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs).” She highlights the United States-Latin America Cancer Research Network…
Researchers from the Universities of Warwick and Liverpool in a report published on Thursday in the British Medical Journal called for the U.N. to “make reducing salt intake a global health priority,” stating that “a 15 percent cut in consumption could save 8.5 million lives around the world over the next decade,” BBC News reports. “The researchers say there is a ‘consistent, direct relation between salt intake and blood pressure,'” which “in turn is linked to heart disease, stroke and kidney problems,” and “[t]hey point to the U.S., where cutting salt intake by a third would save tens of thousands of lives and save up to $24 billion annually in health care costs,” the news agency reports.
“The rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)” is “a growing but under-addressed challenge in both the developed and developing world,” Jean-Luc Butel, executive vice president and group president for Medtronic’s international operations, writes in a Muskegon Chronicle opinion piece. “[S]hifting demographics, lifestyles and environmental factors in places like China and India have led to a dramatic increase in NCDs,” he writes, adding that “[e]stimates suggest NCDs will account for three out of every four deaths globally by 2030.”
CDC Director Thomas Frieden, who currently is visiting India and who previously worked with the Indian government assisting in tuberculosis (TB) control, praised the country’s “progress in controlling tuberculosis and tobacco use” on Monday during a speech to health practitioners and policymakers, according to the Wall Street Journal’s “India Real Time” blog. Frieden also noted “India’s strides in the past decade on â€¦ polio control and HIV/AIDS prevention,” the blog reports.
In a report (.pdf) released on Tuesday, the World Bank urged China to step up its efforts to fight non-communicable diseases (NCDs), “the main cause of death in the country, warning of rising health expenditure and an economic slowdown if rapid action is not taken,” Reuters reports.