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WHO Working With Industry To Reduce NCD Risk Factors

The WHO “is in active dialogue with the food, beverage, alcohol, and even sporting goods industries to encourage marketing changes and product formulations to help curb the growing worldwide prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” Nellie Bristol, a research fellow with the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ (CSIS) Global Health Policy Center, writes in the center’s “Smart Global Health” blog. “While the organization has long had a ‘zero tolerance’ policy in communicating with the tobacco industry, it is using newly strengthened conflict of interest guidelines to work with the food, beverage, and alcohol industries ‘to find acceptable public health solutions,'” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said May 20 in a speech before the World Health Assembly, according to Bristol, who discusses actions industry could take to address NCD risk factors, as well as steps countries have taken to do so. She writes, “With obesity and high blood pressure rising worldwide along with increasingly globalized food markets, industry has to be part of the solution” (5/22).