and fat content in foods in HIC, these changes are not being to prevent other NCDs3.
seen in LMIC15. The importance of addressing these issues was recognized
In order to ensure that food supplies do not increase the risk by international decision-makers with the adoption of the UN
of cancer and other NCDs, food supply policies need to meet Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of NCDs in
food security needs by providing sufficient and safe food and 2011. A global monitoring framework will include a complete
simultaneously address nutrition security (access to sufficient set of indicators and a set of voluntary global targets to
food of adequate nutritional quality). Multicomponent contribute to achieving the already adopted global target of a
approaches to food and agriculture are needed which combine 25% reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2025.
policies for healthier eating change . This is necessary for This is key for global success in tackling the NCD burden. The
simultaneously dealing with hunger, nutrition, sustainable WCRF global network contributed to the UN Summit and its
production and climate change. follow-up and is actively involved in pushing for the
It is important to note that dietary choices are modified by implementation of the Declaration.
price and availability of healthier foods (factors which are The post-2015 development agenda is also critical, as health
determined at societal and global levels) and the capacity for is an essential facilitator for the economic, political and social
people to make healthy informed choices is also affected by development of all countries. The continued engagement of
household income and educational levels. development agencies on global health, and NCDs in particular,
The double burden of disease is not inevitable – coherent will be pivotal for the prevention of cancer, whether through a
and integrated policies on food, nutrition and physical activity successor strategy building on the Millennium Development
(including food and nutrition security) should enable economic Goals or broader action on sustainable development following
development to occur alongside a reduction in both under- the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). A
nutrition and over-nutrition. step forward would be the inclusion of NCD prevention goals
with clear policy actions and interventions.
Tackling the problems At the national level, governments play a key role in making
Since cancer and other NCDs account for a large share of the commitments to take concrete multisector action to prevent
disease burden in all LMIC, action is needed to address the cancer through legislation, regulation and the implementation
underlying causes to reduce the economic, health and social of health-promoting public policies. For example,
impacts. The priority now lies in strengthening global environmental, economic and social pressures influence
commitment to cancer prevention through healthy food, patterns of behaviour or “lifestyle choices”, which should be
nutrition, physical activity and healthy body weight. The effectively addressed through cross-sector governance for
research landscape on policy action has changed dramatically, health. This includes action on the environmental determinants
with an increase in the quantity and quality of research. A of our food choices, such as:
growing amount of work is being conducted on the ‰ Ensuring the increased production, availability and
effectiveness of policy actions and interventions to identify accessibility of healthier alternatives with reduced levels of
“best buys” in these areas to reduce the economic impact of fat, salt and added sugars, including through product
NCDs in LMIC . reformulation.
The WCRF global network works to influence policy change ‰ Encouraging consumer uptake of these healthier options,
at a global and national level, raising awareness of the changes by ensuring they are competitively priced and promoted,
that can help people make healthier diet and lifestyle choices to with clear, accurate and easy-to-understand information
reduce their risk of cancer and other NCDs. WCRF/AICR’s for consumers.
Policy Report provides evaluated and integrated evidence on
the physical, environmental, economic, and social dimensions of The food and beverage industry are both part of the problem
food, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy body weight3. It and part of the solution. It is vital therefore to engage them in
also provides advice and guidance on how governments, the most appropriate way when implementing policy and not
multinational bodies, civil society organizations, industry, when developing policy. Governments need to give careful
media, schools, workplaces and institutions, health and other thought to addressing the role of these actors to ensure the
professionals, and people (as members of families and integrity of policy-making.
communities) can implement changes to achieve the As LMIC generally have lower capacity for the prevention
recommendations of the Second Expert Report. The policy and control of NCDs4 and there is limited evidence available
recommendations are also consistent with recommendations specifically for LMIC, there is an opportunity for lessons to be
CANCER CONTROL 2013 47
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