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[afro-nets] WHO global strategy on diet, physical activity and health

WHO draft global strategy on diet, physical activity and health

World Health Organization, Executive Board EB113/44
113th Session 27 November 2003
Integrated Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases

Available online as Adobe PDF file (17 pp. 98 kB) at:

A profound shift in the balance of the major causes of death and
disease is under way in most countries. Globally, the burden of
non-communicable diseases has rapidly increased. In 2001, non-
communicable diseases accounted for almost 60% of the 56.5 mil-
lion deaths annually and 47% of the global burden of disease. In
view of these figures and the predicted future growth in this
disease burden, the prevention of non-communicable diseases pre-
sents a major global public health challenge.

Unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are thus the leading
causes of the major non-communicable diseases, including cardio-
vascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer,
and contribute substantially to the global burden of disease,
death and disability. Other diseases related to diet and physi-
cal inactivity, such as dental caries and osteoporosis, are
widespread causes of morbidity.

A unique opportunity exists to formulate and implement an effec-
tive strategy for substantially reducing deaths and disease
worldwide by improving diet and promoting physical activity.
Evidence for the links between these health behaviours and later
disease and ill-health is strong. There are effective interven-
tions to enable people to live longer and healthier lives, re-
duce inequalities, and enhance development. By mobilizing the
full potential of global players, this vision could become a re-
ality for all populations in all countries of the world.

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