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Transforming the food system to fight non-communicable diseases

Malnutrition and unhealthy diets are important risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Francesco Branca and colleagues call for changes in both what and how food is produced, marketed, and consumed in their latest articleTransforming the food system to fight non-communicable diseases.

Key messages

  • Poor quality diets, malnutrition in all its forms, and NCDs are closely linked. Unhealthy diets are now the biggest risk factor for NCDs
  • Poor quality diets, malnutrition, and NCDs are the logical consequences of, among other factors, major changes to how food is produced, sold, marketed, and consumed around the world in the past half century
  • Transformation of current food systems to improve availability, affordability, and uptake of nutritious, safe, affordable, and sustainable diets is key to tackling malnutrition in all its forms and diet related NCDs
  • Policy options to tackle the different forms of malnutrition and diet related NCDs can also help create food systems that are sustainable, benefitting planetary health
  • The United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition, along with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and Goals, are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to simultaneously and cost effectively improve diets, eliminate malnutrition, reduce death and disability from NCDs, and promote sustainable development

Download the full article here.

Author:
Corresponding author: Francesco Branca (brancaf@who.int)
Year:
2019

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