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JRSM Short Rep. 2012 Jul;3(7):45. doi: 10.1258/shorts.2012.011159. Epub 2012 Jul 10.

Best approaches in the battle against Globesity? Learning lessons from our experience tackling HIV-AIDS and tobacco smoking.

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  • 1King's Health Partners AHSC, Renal Department, Guy's Hospital , Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT , UK.


In 2008, two-thirds of the annual global death toll was attributable to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Defined as chronic conditions often caused or exacerbated by non-obligated lifestyle behaviours, the NCD epidemic has been fuelled by a combination of risk factors, including tobacco use, an unhealthy diet combined with lack of physical activity and overweight-obesity, and harmful alcohol use. The health consequences are mainly seen as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory problems. Generally associated with the West, they are now recognized as a global threat to public health. They are also an unsupportable global health economic burden. NCDs incidence can be significantly reduced through the adoption of proven and affordable interventional measures which are complementary to global health efforts already underway. To head off the certain future surge in morbidity and mortality, at record costs to health budgets worldwide, there is a pressing need to change global population's behaviours and choices in relation to these risk factors. The most pressing challenge in NCD prevention is combating the rise in overweight-obesity, which threatens individuals, communities and countries as never before. If not overcome, this may undo much of the progress seen in reducing the incidence of myocardial infarctions, strokes and some cancers evident from the 1960s onwards.

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