Diet and physical activity: a public health priority
Unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are key risk factors for the major noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes.
Recognizing the opportunity for reducing deaths and diseases worldwide by improving diets and increasing levels of physical activity, the World Health Assembly adopted the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, in May 2004.
This strategy provides recommendations for Member States, WHO, international partners, private sector, civil society and nongovernmental organizations on the promotion of healthy diets and regular physical activity for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases.
Heads of State and Government committed in the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs (resolution A/RES/66/2) to reduce the exposure of populations to unhealthy diets and physical inactivity.
Equally important, the 2013 World Health Assembly endorsed the Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020, which includes a set of actions for Member States, international partners and the WHO Secretariat to promote healthy diets and physical activity, and to attain 9 voluntary global targets for NCDs including ones on diet and physical activity to be achieved by 2025 (resolution WHA 66.10).