New WHO Action Plan on Noncommunicable diseases

15/10/2016 Press 1893 Views
New WHO Action Plan on Noncommunicable diseases

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been actively combatting noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and the Organisation’s efforts can be seen as successful, given that the prevalence of NCDs in Europe continues to decrease.

However, looking at the European landscape as a whole does not account for the great differences between countries and population groups. The WHO has pointed to several areas, such as tobacco use and obesity, where actions need to be accelerated in order to reach the global goals.

The new WHO Action Plan outlines actions that could be taken to reduce the burden of NCDs, improve quality of life and make healthy life expectancy more equitable within and between Member States. The goal of the Action Plan is to avoid premature death and significantly reduce the disease burden of NCDs by taking integrated actions. 

According to the Action Plan, it is particularly important to improve efforts on early detection of NCDs. Actions need to be taken to better detect and control increased blood pressure and high cholesterol. For example, cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention are currently among the most under-used interventions, although their usefulness is undisputed. These methods could have immediate effect on improving population well-being and need to be used more widely.

In order to decrease obesity levels, the Action Plan advocates the use of fiscal policies and marketing restrictions to promote healthy eating and reformulating food products so that trans-fats are eliminated and saturated fats are replaced by unsaturated fats and salt and sugar intake is reduced. Actions also need to be taken to promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour.

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