Why is front of package labeling of commercial foods and beverages important?

180322etiquetadomexicoNutritional front package labeling is a promising system for influencing commercially prepared food options towards healthier alternatives to improve the diet of a population with increasing levels of overweight and obesity. The regulatory system must be supported by scientific evidence and health institutions without conflicts of interest.

130822fruitsandvegetablesFront of package labeling is the only source of information available to the consumer at the point of sale, so it is important that the consumer be able to locate, read, interpret and understand the information presented to them in order to make an informed decisions regarding the food and beverages they consume.  Information such as:

• Determine if a product is high or low in a specific nutrient.
• Compare nutritional information between similar products or with different types of products.
• Determine if consuming a particular product is healthy or not.

Read the report in SPANISH here.

Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and physical education in adolescents from Latin America and the Caribbean: results from 26 countries

PhysicalactivityguateLatin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries, have been historically under-represented due to the lack of surveillance of physical behaviours in young populations. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe and compare overall physical activity (PA), active transportation to and from school (i.e. walking or cycling), physical education (PE) participation, and sedentary behaviour (SB) in adolescents from 26 countries in LAC.  See full report here.

Foro de Enfermedades no Transmisibles

MONTEVIDEO (Uypress) - El pasado jueves 5 de octubre, tuvo lugar en el Palacio Legislativo el "Foro sobre enfermedades no transmisibles:(ENT) : Políticas de Estado para un grave problema para la salud y el desarrollo social, en el Siglo XXI", convocado por la ALIANZa ENT Uruguay.

El Encuentro fue inaugurado por el Presidente de la Cámara de Diputados Prof. José Carlos Mahia, y contó con la participación de especialistas de diferentes áreas.

El informe sobre la situación de Uruguay y la incidencia de estas enfermedades como causa de muertes prematuras en la población y discapacidades, estuvo a cargo del Dr. Miguel Asqueta, Vice Presidente de CIET ( Centro de Investigación de la Epidemia de Tabaco) y co Coordinador de la Alianza ENT Uruguay. Destacó que estas enfermedades: las cardiovasculares, distintos tipos de cancer, la diabetes y las enfermedades respiratorias -sobre todo el EPOC-, son responsables del mayor porcentaje de muertes prematuras, el 80% ocurren en países de ingresos bajo y medio, y su incidencia es muchísimo mayor que las enfermedades transmisibles.
El reporte completo se encuentra aquí.

WHO launches new NCDs Progress Monitor

Governments are making limited progress, so more action is needed to address NCDs and main risk factors to meet global targets to reduce premature deaths

News release

18 September 2017 | Geneva/New York - Governments must step up efforts to control noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) to meet globally agreed targets, including preventing the premature deaths of millions of people from these conditions, according to a new WHO report released today.

Limited national progress has been made in the fight against NCDs – primarily cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, cancers and diabetes – which are the world's biggest killers, and claim the lives of 15 million people aged 30 to 70 years annually.

But the WHO Noncommunicable disease Progress Monitor 2017, which charts actions by countries to set targets, implement policies to address four main shared and modifiable NCD risk factors (tobacco, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol) and build capacities to reduce and treat NCDs, shows that progress around the world has been uneven and insufficient.

In his foreword to the Monitor , Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, highlighted advances in responding to NCDs but urged further action, "Bolder political action is needed to address constraints in controlling NCDs, including the mobilization of domestic and external resources and safeguarding communities from interference by powerful economic operators."

The Progress Monitor provides data on 19 indicators in all of WHO's 194 Member States. The indicators include setting time-bound targets to reduce NCD deaths; developing all-of-government policies to address NCDs; implementing key tobacco demand reduction measures, measures to reduce harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets and promote physical activity; and strengthening health systems through primary health care and universal health coverage.

Key highlights of the 2017 edition include:

93 countries have set national targets to address NCDs, up from 59 in 2015;
94 countries have implemented operational multisectoral strategies to address NCDs, compared to 64 in 2015;
90 countries have developed guidelines for managing the four major NCDs, up from 50 in 2015;
100 countries have conducted physical activity awareness campaigns;
Six countries have not achieved any of the progress indicators, compared to 14 in 2015. Five of the six countries are African;
Costa Rica and Iran lead the 10 the best performing countries, with each achieving 15 of the 19 indicators, followed by Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey and the United Kingdom (each 13); Finland, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Thailand (12).
No country from the WHO Africa region achieved more than eight of the progress indicators.

Dr Douglas Bettcher, WHO director for the prevention of NCDs, says the world is not on track to meet the target set by the Sustainable Development Goals of a one third reduction in premature NCD deaths by 2030.

"We need to urgently accelerate progress in the battle to beat NCDs," adds Dr Bettcher. "The window of opportunity to save lives is closing. This is playing out before our eyes in many ways, including in the increasing numbers of people, particularly children and adolescents, suffering from obesity, overweight and diabetes. If we don't take action now to protect people from NCDs, we will condemn today's and tomorrow's youth to lives of ill-health and reduced economic opportunities."

The Progress Monitor's findings will underpin a WHO report being submitted to the United Nations Secretary General later this year ahead of the third UN High-level Meeting on NCDs in 2018.
Note to editors

Member States requested WHO, at the January 2015 Executive Board, to produce the WHO Noncommunicable Diseases Progress Monitor. In May 2015, WHO published a technical note detailing the indicators to be used in the report. The World Health Assembly reiterated in 2016 that the Progress Monitor will be used to develop a report for the UN General Assembly in late 2017 on country efforts to develop national responses to address the four major main NCDs.

The WHO report also documents efforts by countries to implement a so called set of "best buys" and other interventions that can prevent or delay most premature NCD deaths, and which were endorsed during this year's World Health Assembly.

Such cost-effective and readily implementable measures include increasing taxation and plain packaging on tobacco products; reducing sodium content in food; providing drug therapy and counselling to people with diabetes and hypertension; and screening and vaccinating girls and women to protect them from cervical cancer.
For more information, please contact:

Tarik Jasarevic
Communications Officer
Telephone: +41 22 791 1099
Mobile: +41 79 367 6214
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Paul Garwood
Communications Officer
Telephone: +41 22 791 1578
Mobile: +41 79 603 7294
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