Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), 19-21 November 2014

Promoting Healthy Diets Through Nutrition Education and Changes in the Food Environment: An International Review of Actions and Their Effectiveness

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), of the 57 million global deaths in 2008, 36 million, or 63%, were due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), principally ca rdiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases (WHO, 2011a). Nearly 80% of these deaths occur in low-and middle-income countries. Deaths from NCDs are projected to continue to rise worldwide, with the greatest increases expected in low- and middle-income regions. An unhealthy diet is one of the key risk factors for NCDs.
For example, inadequate consumption of fruit and vegetables increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases and several cancers; high salt consumption is an important determinant of high blood pressure and cardiovascular risk and increases the risk of stomach cancer; high consumption of saturated fats and trans-fatty acids is linked to heart disease; a range of dietary factors have been linked with diabetes; red and processed meat consumption is linked with some cancers (WHO, 2003; Steyn et al., 2004; WCRF, 2007).
In addition, excessive energy intake leads to overweight and obesity, which is linked with a range of health problems, including NCDs (WHO, 2000). Diabetes has particularly strong associations with obesity (Steyn et al., 2004), and evidence shows associations between body fatness and some leading cancers (WCRF, 2007). The WHO estimates that 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese (WHO, 2011a). The prevalence of overweight is highest in upper-middle-income countries but very high levels are also reported from some lower-middle income countries in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, and it is reported to be rising throughout low- and middle-income countries.

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