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Examining Politics Of Reaching NCD Targets

Writing in the PLoS blog “Translational Global Health,” Greg Paton, a public health consultant, discusses the history of and current discussions taking place surrounding global targets for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Noting the goals include reducing the consumption of salt and trans-fats and increasing access to exercise and healthy food, among others, he writes, “A major question still remains though — how can we incentivize governments to achieve these targets and change the systems that impede their achievement?” Paton concludes, “If we play the politics wisely, the targets agreed by governments could offer a carrot and stick to incentivize countries to improve the social, political and economic policies that frame people’s behaviors and decisions — a necessity if the targets have any hope of being reached. If we don’t, there is little likelihood that progress reports and plans issued by intergovernmental agencies will have much impact or change the rules of the game” (2/11).