Hilary Clinton to tell United Nations to back nutrition interventions in NCDs

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: World food programme, United nations

Hilary Clinton to tell United Nations to back nutrition interventions in NCDs
The UN is set to adopt a policy to tackle the growing problem of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) after meetings this week in New York City featuring Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

With malnutrition seen as a major factor in NCDs that are predicted to rise by 27% in Africa alone by 2021, and which typically account for about 30% of national health care costs, the Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) project backed by Clinton and Ki-moon have been highlighted in the two-day summit that ends today.

SUN, along with the 1000 Days Partnership focuses on maternal and child malnutrition and under nutrition.

Those present at the meeting will include Jeff Raikes (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Mehmood Khand (PepsiCo), Josette Sheeran (World Food Programme), Kathy Spahn (Helen Keller International), Anthony Lake (UNICEF) and Carolyn Miles (Save the Children).

Supplier DSM will be represented by board member Stephan Tanda, who will make a presentation entitled, “Effective Partnerships for Accountable Results”.

It is estimated 36m people die each year due to NCDs.

Conflicts of interest

But some NGOs in New York expressed their dissatisfaction that industry had been invited to the discussions, highlighting conflicts of interest.

A statement put out by the UK group, Baby Milk Action, said industry had no place at the UN table.

“Last year, the UN pledged to create a strategy to limit cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases caused by poor nutrition, excess consumption of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and physical inactivity,”​ the group said.

“Negotiations during the summer revealed competing views about the effectiveness of voluntary food industry efforts, adequacy of existing international law, and the role of for-profit companies and public-interest groups in the policy-making process.

The public-interest groups stress that governments now have an unprecedented full and sophisticated grasp of gigantic health and economic burden of NCDs, but have been decidedly naive about conflicts of interest in policy-making.”

Paul Lincoln of the UK-based National Heart Forum added: “Leaders simply must get fundamental disease rate-reduction targets locked in—starting with 25% by 2025—and really embrace effective regulations on population-level salt reduction and trans fat elimination, nutrition standards for school meals, food tax reform, controls on the marketing of high fat, salt and sugar foods and alcohol to children and young people, and front of pack labelling in order to safeguard the health and economic development, nationally and internationally.”

“The United Nations needs a sensible, evidence-based and experience-informed code of conduct to ensure that commercial operations in food, alcohol, drug and other industries do not impair progress or the effectiveness of NCD prevention policies,”​ said Dr Kate Allen of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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1 comment


Posted by hollypahl,

Countries that signed on to SUN, first endorsed in April 2010, have agreed to revise and review national nutrition policies, but to do so through their own frameworks, and to their own timelines. http://bit.ly/nkUYJN

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