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Beaglehole R.,University of Auckland | Bonita R.,University of Auckland | Alleyne G.,Pan American Health Organization | Horton R.,The Lancet | And 9 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2011

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), principally heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases, are a global crisis and require a global response. Despite the threat to human development, and the availability of affordable, cost-effective, and feasible interventions, most countries, development agencies, and foundations neglect the crisis. The UN High-Level Meeting (UN HLM) on NCDs in September, 2011, is an opportunity to stimulate a coordinated global response to NCDs that is commensurate with their health and economic burdens. To achieve the promise of the UN HLM, several questions must be addressed. In this report, we present the realities of the situation by answering four questions: is there really a global crisis of NCDs; how is NCD a development issue; are affordable and cost-effective interventions available; and do we really need high-level leadership and accountability? Action against NCDs will support other global health and development priorities. A successful outcome of the UN HLM depends on the heads of states and governments attending the meeting, and endorsing and implementing the commitments to action. Long-term success requires inspired and committed national and international leadership. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Levy D.T.,Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation | Mabry P.L.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Wang Y.C.,The New School | Gortmaker S.,Harvard University | And 4 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2011

Simulation models (SMs) combine information from a variety of sources to provide a useful tool for examining how the effects of obesity unfold over time and impact population health. SMs can aid in the understanding of the complex interaction of the drivers of diet and activity and their relation to health outcomes. As emphasized in a recently released report of the Institute or Medicine, SMs can be especially useful for considering the potential impact of an array of policies that will be required to tackle the obesity problem. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of existing SMs for obesity. First, a background section introduces the different types of models, explains how models are constructed, shows the utility of SMs and discusses their strengths and weaknesses. Using these typologies, we then briefly review extant obesity SMs. We categorize these models according to their focus: health and economic outcomes, trends in obesity as a function of past trends, physiologically based behavioural models, environmental contributors to obesity and policy interventions. Finally, we suggest directions for future research. © 2010 The Authors. obesity reviews © 2010 International Association for the Study of Obesity. Source

Gortmaker S.L.,Harvard University | Swinburn B.A.,Deakin University | Levy D.,Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation | Carter R.,Deakin University | And 5 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2011

The global obesity epidemic has been escalating for four decades, yet sustained prevention efforts have barely begun. An emerging science that uses quantitative models has provided key insights into the dynamics of this epidemic, and enabled researchers to combine evidence and to calculate the effect of behaviours, interventions, and policies at several levels - from individual to population. Forecasts suggest that high rates of obesity will affect future population health and economics. Energy gap models have quantified the association of changes in energy intake and expenditure with weight change, and have documented the effect of higher intake on obesity prevalence. Empirical evidence that shows interventions are effective is limited but expanding. We identify several cost-effective policies that governments should prioritise for implementation. Systems science provides a framework for organising the complexity of forces driving the obesity epidemic and has important implications for policy makers. Many parties (such as governments, international organisations, the private sector, and civil society) need to contribute complementary actions in a coordinated approach. Priority actions include policies to improve the food and built environments, cross-cutting actions (such as leadership, healthy public policies, and monitoring), and much greater funding for prevention programmes. Increased investment in population obesity monitoring would improve the accuracy of forecasts and evaluations. The integration of actions within existing systems into both health and non-health sectors (trade, agriculture, transport, urban planning, and development) can greatly increase the influence and sustainability of policies. We call for a sustained worldwide effort to monitor, prevent, and control obesity. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

In 2011 the National Heart Forum completed a commission from the UK Department of Health to conduct a mapping and consultation exercise on the marketing and promotion of food and drinks to children. One of the outputs was an analysis of the regulatory environment including statutory and self-regulatory rules and voluntary codes of conduct. The key findings and observations from this analysis are presented in this short report. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Wang Y.C.,Columbia University | McPherson K.,University of Oxford | Marsh T.,National Heart Forum | Gortmaker S.L.,Boston University | Brown M.,National Heart Forum
The Lancet | Year: 2011

Rising prevalence of obesity is a worldwide health concern because excess weight gain within populations forecasts an increased burden from several diseases, most notably cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancers. In this report, we used a simulation model to project the probable health and economic consequences in the next two decades from a continued rise in obesity in two ageing populations - the USA and the UK. These trends project 65 million more obese adults in the USA and 11 million more obese adults in the UK by 2030, consequently accruing an additional 6-8·5 million cases of diabetes, 5·7-7·3 million cases of heart disease and stroke, 492 000-669 000 additional cases of cancer, and 26-55 million quality-adjusted life years forgone for USA and UK combined. The combined medical costs associated with treatment of these preventable diseases are estimated to increase by $48-66 billion/year in the USA and by £1·9-2 billion/year in the UK by 2030. Hence, effective policies to promote healthier weight also have economic benefits. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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