Spring/Summer 2003    Vol. 11, Issue 1
Welcome to the first fully online issue of CECHE's "Global Health and Environment MONITOR." The focus of this issue is the March 2003 joint World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization report, which sets a new paradigm for reducing the risk of diet-related noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), today's leading killers in both industrialized and developing countries.

NCD gurus Derek Yach and Pekka Puska present highlights of the WHO/FAO report, stressing the rapidly increasing global NCD burden, and its causes and prevention. They focus on developing countries, nations that are neither well-prepared to address the consequences of the diseases nor economically able to implement improved nutrition and increased physical activity -- proposed strategies for NCD prevention. In a companion article, Barry Popkin reports on the global obesity epidemic as an NCD risk factor, and looks at its causes, consequences and proven strategies for prevention.

In the Insider's View, Michael Jacobson and Bruce Silverglade point to the still unfinished business of making healthy diets the "norm" for successfully preventing NCDs, and emphasize the need for bold actions, not just policies, that target the food and agricultural industries.

The Features section (formerly the Centerfold) spotlights two strategies for NCD prevention. The first, from the United States, is the Produce for Better Health Foundation's "5 A Day" program to promote the consumption of at least five daily servings of vegetables and fruit. The second, from Finland, comprises Ilkka Vuori's rationale and recipe for increased physical activity to reduce NCD risk, a strategy that has already produced results in Finland and several other European countries.

Policy Beat reveals the implementation and implications of the WHO/FAO report in the United States and around the globe, as addressed by public health policy veterans J. Michael McGinnis, J. A. Grisso and Kaare Norum.

Finally, through the eyes of CECHE Vice Chairman Mark Palmer and Syracuse University-CECHE scholar Kalyani Subbiah, CECHE News presents the latest on our organization's Global Democracy for Global Health project and application of the Health Belief Model in South India.

CECHE will continue to deliver pertinent information on current issues and events, and believes the online MONITOR will expand our ability to do so. To ensure our success, we invite comments on site content, structure and navigation, and welcome suggestions for upcoming issue topics.

Sushma Palmer, D.Sc.
Chairman, CECHE

© 2003 CECHE
Center for Communications, Health and the Environment
4437 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007
Tel: (202) 965-5990 . Fax: (202) 965-5996
Email: ceche@comcast.net