Thursday, September 22, 2011


It is laudable, for the United Nations to take up the subject of non-communicable diseases, amongst the many important items in the UN General assembly, going on in New York, at the moment. calling it the United nations ( UN ) High Level Meeting on Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases ( NCD ). By non-communicable diseases, they mean Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Cancers and chronic Respiratory diseases.
The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, noted that NCD kills about 25% of the population in the prime of their working lives. WHO projects that NCD will rise by 17% over the next decade and by about 24% in the African countries. If this trend continues, it will cost the world economy trillions of dollars to control. We can see the spread of this non-communicable diseases from the first world nations, now to the third world nations, driven mainly by the globalisation of unhealthy lifestyles.
However, besides centering on tobacco, the UN initiative is short on details, as to how to carry out a co-ordinated preventive program. Some mention was made about the negative impact on food advertisement to entice children, but not much is said as to how to stop it. I suppose this is mainly due to the strong fast food lobby.
Well, at least it is a start, I suppose. The world is waking up to the fact that we could be losing trillions of dollars if we do not control this NCD epidermic.
Well, the gong has been sounded. Lets see what happens next. Will it be back to life as usual, or will we as a global community, begin healthy lifestyle programs, of exercise, eating less salt, food calorie labelling. stop smoking, preventive check-ups for all adults, ban fast food advertisement, reward slimmers, etc.
I am afraid that I am not so optimistic. Remember, Malaysia uses her many unhealthy foods as a tourism promotion strong point., .............. so.
Well, at least it is a good initiative.

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