Chronic diseases and health promotion

Part Four - Taking action: essential steps for success

Chapter One: Providing a unifying framework - the role of government


Community mobilization

Community mobilization, as illustrated in Part Three, is fundamental to creating and implementing successful and sustainable chronic disease prevention and control policies and programmes.

Implementation step and suggested milestones

STEP 1 CORE: Networks of community members and organizations, health professionals and policy-makers are established for information sharing, consultation, and collaboration.

STEP 2 EXPANDED: Community-based programmes for chronic disease prevention are formed, and then implemented and evaluated. School health programmes for chronic disease prevention are systematically implemented.

STEP 3 DESIRABLE: Communities assume responsibility for ongoing implementation and monitoring of chronic disease prevention programmes. Employers implement chronic disease prevention and self-management activities in the workplace.

Using schools to promote healthy diets and physical activity

Large-scale school-based projects are being implemented in developing countries to reduce obesity, improve nutrition and increase physical activity. Brazil has recently required that 70% of the food offered through its national school meals programme should be minimally processed. Chile has included more fruits and vegetables in the national school meals programme. The Ministries of Health and Education in China have been fostering the health-promoting school concept (see spotlight, opposite). Malaysia, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, South Africa and Thailand have initiated similar programmes. In the Republic of Korea a healthy traditional diet was preserved through the joint efforts of dietitians and the government. The most promising programmes use culturally appropriate methods and messages (Doak C. Large-scale interventions and programmes addressing nutrition-related chronic diseases and obesity: examples from 14 countries. Public Health Nutrition, 2002, 5(1A):275–277).

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