CECHE Center for Communications, Health and the Environment
Spring/Summer 2003 Vol. 11, Issue 1
Can a New Diet-Exercise Paradigm
Combat The Chronic-Disease Pandemic?

WHO/FAO Tackle Diet-Disease Epidemic

Calorie- and fat-laden diets, as well as sedentarism, are major culprits in modern-day chronic-disease pandemic.
"Less saturated fats, sugar and salt, [and] more fruit, vegetables and physical exercise [are] needed to counter cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and obesity," concludes a joint expert consultation of the World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO) in a report on diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases. Released March 3, 2003, these updated recommendations are based on analysis of the best available evidence and the collective judgment of 30 experts. They are aimed at alleviating the increasing global burden of chronic diseases that the experts attribute to rapid changes in diet and lifestyle accompanying urbanization, economic development and market globalization in recent decades, particularly in developing countries and countries in transition. Get the PDF][see full article...]

Worldwide Obesity Epidemic Tied To Urbanization, Technological Change

The incidence of obesity and noncommunicable diseases is up worldwide, and increasing urbanization and technological change are the main catalysts for this remarkably rapid, and decidedly dangerous, rise. 
CLICK TO ENLARGEBoth developing and industrialized countries are battling obesity.
In countries as diverse as the United States, Mexico, Egypt and South Africa, levels of obesity and related co-morbidities, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, currently affect 25 to 50 percent of the population.  A "nutrition transition," or shift in diet, physical activity, health and nutrition, is the culprit, and can be traced to higher incomes, the influence of mass media and food marketing, and changes in the nature of work and leisure.

The Nutrition Transition
Urban dwellers have vastly different lifestyles than rural residents. And their alternate patterns of food demand and time allocation have an enormous effect on diet, physical activity and overall health.

  • The urban diet. Urban residents obtain a much higher proportion of energy from fats and sweeteners, and eat greater amounts of animal products than do rural residents, even in the poorest areas of low-income countries. In China, for example, 38.2 percent of the energy intake of urban adults is derived from fat, compared to 18.7 percent for rural adults. Urbanites consume a more diversified
  • Get the PDF] [see full article...]

    © 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