The links between Commercial Determinants of Health and Chronic Diseases

Unhealthy diet is the biggest risk factor for disability adjusted life years lost (DALYs) in the EU, principally through diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases, with tobacco and alcohol also contributing significantly to the growing burden of chronic diseases  on health services.

Of course, this is far from coincidental. The private sector has a number of strategies and approaches that it employs “to promote products and choices that are detrimental to health”. They include marketing, which enhances the desirability and acceptability of products. Marketing in all its forms is key to unhealthy commodities’ acceptability, and crucially, their appeal.

To read more about these links on the site:

Towards tobacco-free generations

Towards tobacco-free generations: stopping second-hand smoke and smoking initiation among children 

Several Member States in the WHO European Region are moving towards becoming “tobacco-free”, which means having a smoking prevalence of 5% or less. To achieve this, countries must address a number of tobacco-related issues that specifically impact children, and work to protect children from the harmful effects of tobacco.


Second-hand exposure kills over 600 000 non-smokers globally each year, many of whom are children. Causes of such deaths include asthma, respiratory infections and cancer.

To read more about tobacco-free generations from 


Development of a draft global action plan to promote physical activity

Further to the decision of the 140th session of the Executive Board to request the WHO Director-General to develop a draft global action plan to promote physical activity, the WHO Secretariat is hosting an open web-based consultation on a first draft from 1 August 2017 to 22 September 2017.

Physical inactivity is one of the leading behavioural risk factors for the leading causes of NCDs, namely heart disease, stroke, breast and colon cancers and diabetes. Conversely, regular physical activity is associated with improved well-being, as well as enhanced social and mental health. However, inactivity is on the rise in many countries, and globally one in four adults, and four out of five adolescents, do not meet the global recommendations.

Read the Draft WHO global action plan on physical activity 2018 – 2030 on the website.

Malaria in the UK: annual report

Malaria does not occur naturally in the UK but travel-associated cases are reported in those who have returned to the UK or arrived (either as a visitor or migrant to the UK) from malaria-endemic areas. An annual report has presented data on malaria imported into the UK, based on figures reported to Public Health England’s Malaria reference laboratory.

In 2016, 1,618 cases of imported malaria were reported in the UK (1,529 in England, 58 in Scotland, 25 in Wales and six in Northern Ireland), 15.6% higher than reported in 2015 (N=1,400) and 4.5% above the mean number of 1,547 cases reported between 2006 and 2015.

See the full document about Malaria in the UK on the website.