"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Global Strategy on Diet

Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health is a program created by the World Health Organization in May 2004. This organization is directed and coordinated within the United Nations system and aims to reduce the risk factors for chronic diseases that develop from unhealthy diets and physical inactivity. It also aims to increase the awareness and understanding of the influences of diet and physical activity. The strategy develops action plans to improve diets and encourage individuals to engage into physical activity as well.
According to the World Health Report in 2002 low intake of fruit and vegetables is estimated to cause about 31% of heart diseases, 11% of stroke worldwide and 19% of gastrointestinal cancer. Overall, 2.7 million deaths are caused by low fruits and vegetables intake. And physical inactivity is estimated to cause, globally, about 10-16% of cases each of breast cancer, colon and rectal cancers and diabetes mellitus, and about 22% of heart diseases. Overall, 1.9 million deaths are caused by physical inactivity.
Unhealthy diets are also causing individuals to become obese and overweight. In a global study in 2005, researchers found that approximately 1.6 billion adults (age 15+) were overweight and at least 400 million adults were obese.
Promoting strategic plans seems as though is the only way to reduce the risk of diseases. Global Strategy on diets is a critical concept for the 21st century want to maintain good health.
As a whole we should try to promote healthy eating by properly monitoring our food intake and engaging in physical activity. The program described above encourages stakeholders to take action at global and local levels to reduce the development of chronic diseases.
Promoting awareness in a school can be one of the most effective ways a nation can make, to improve health. The World Health Organization promotes school health programs as a strategic mean to prevent important health risks among teenagers. It seems more effective if we start health awareness at a younger age.

[1] http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/en/

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