The Global Nutrition Report

The latest edition of the Global Nutrition Report has been released.

This Report acts as a report card on the world’s nutrition—globally, regionally, and country by country—and on efforts to improve it. It assesses progress in meeting Global Nutrition Targets established by the World Health Assembly.

For more information about the Global Nutrition Report on the globalnutritionreport.org website

Air pollution set to rise significantly

In 2010 outdoor air pollution caused more than 3 million premature deaths around the world and the OECD is predicting this will rise to between 6 and 9 million premature deaths a year by 2060, with elderly people and children most vulnerable. These projections imply a doubling, or even tripling, of premature deaths from dirty air – or one premature death every four or five seconds – by 2060.

In their latest report “The economic consequences of air pollution” they estimate the cost of this to be 1% of global GDP  or €2.6 trillion as a result of sick days, medical bills and reduced agricultural output.

For more information and to download the report on air pollution from the oecd.org website.

Online violence towards children

UNICEF has launched a campaign – ENDviolence online – to highlight the perils of the internet for children today.

As part of this campaign it has produced a report “Perils and possibilities: growing up online” which showcases young people’s perceptions of the risks children and adolescents face coming of age in the digital world. As the boundary between online and offline fades, explore what children face in the ether today – and how we can all support them.

To download the report and find out more about the campaign for internet safety for children on the unicef.org website.

Can a mobile phone help you stop smoking?

Tara Duthie, who lives in Stirling, Scotland tried to quit smoking four times in 5 years. Then, in 2015 aged just 49, she had a heart attack – it was a wake-up call she could not ignore. She started using an app to help her stop smoking which not only gave her information about physiological changes but also had little games that she could play to distract herself for the 3 or 4 minutes a craving for a cigarette would last.

Smart phone apps that help with lifestyle change are growing in popularity. However, few public health authorities have mechanisms in place to regulate their quality or have a strategy to guide how they could be used for health promotion.

According to the latest e-health report, “From innovation to implementation – e-health in the WHO European Region“, the health authorities of 22 countries in the Region promote the development and adoption of m-health (mobile health) in the health sector. Around a quarter (11 countries) report that their health authorities regulate mobile devices and software for quality, safety and reliability. In 7 countries the health authorities play no role in the development or adoption of m-health. The report further shows that, when governments sponsor m-health programmes, they are also more likely to provide incentives and guidance on innovation and evaluation, as well as regulation for their use.

For more information about mobile health and smoking on the euro.who.int website

The health impacts of air pollution

Air pollution is the largest single environmental health risk and a leading cause of disease and death globally.

In the WHO European Region, exposure to particulate matter (PM) accounted for almost 600,000 premature deaths in 2012. The costs associated with premature deaths and diseases caused by air pollution in the Region have been estimated to equal one tenth of the GDP of the EU in 2013.

WHO Europe has developed AirQ+ which can quantify the health impacts of air pollution from different sources in a given population, supporting policy-makers in evaluating risks and taking appropriate action.

AirQ+ calculates the magnitude of selected health effects associated with exposure to the most relevant air pollutants – those for which there is strong evidence on their adverse effects on health – in a given population. It estimates the health burden associated with long- and short-term exposure to ambient air pollution from PM2.5 and small PM (PM10), ozone, nitrogen dioxide and black carbon, as well as long-term exposure to household air pollution from solid fuel use.

For more information about the health impacts of air pollution on the euro.who.int website.

Code of Conduct for online hate

The European Commission together with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft have developed a code of conduct that includes a series of commitments to combat the spread of illegal hate speech online in Europe.

These IT companies recognise they share, together with other platforms and social media companies, a collective responsibility for promoting and facilitating freedom of expression throughout the online world. They also understand that the spread of illegal hate speech online not only negatively affects the groups or individuals that it targets, it also negatively impacts those who speak out for freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination in our open societies and has a chilling effect on the democratic discourse on online platforms.

In order to prevent the spread of illegal hate speech, it is essential to ensure that relevant national laws combating racism and xenophobia are fully enforced by Member States in the online as well as the in the offline environment.

By signing this code of conduct, the IT companies commit to continuing their efforts to tackle illegal hate speech online. They will also strengthen their ongoing partnerships with civil society organisations who will help flag content that promotes incitement to violence and hateful conduct.

To download the full Code of Conduct on the ec.europa.eu website.

Children in the developed world

Across the OECD, the risks of poverty have been shifting from the elderly towards youth since the 1980s. These developments accentuate the need to monitor the well-being of the most disadvantaged children, but income inequality also has far-reaching consequences for society, harming educational attainment, key health outcomes and even economic growth.

UNICEF has produced a report ‘Fairness for Children’ which contains league tables of inequality in child well-being in rich countries. It analyses the situation in 41 countries in the EU and OECD and focuses on ‘bottom-end inequality’ – the gap between children at the bottom and those in the middle – and addresses the question ‘how far behind are children being allowed to fall?’ in income, education, health and life satisfaction.

To read the full report on the unicef-irc.org website

Decade of Action on Nutrition

Nearly 800 million people are chronically undernourished and 159 million children under 5 years of age are stunted. Approximately 50 million children under 5 years are wasted and over two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Meanwhile 1.9 billion people are overweight – of whom over 600 million are obese – and the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing in nearly all countries.

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed a UN Decade of Action on Nutrition from 2016 to 2025.

The resolution aims to trigger intensified action to end hunger and eradicate malnutrition worldwide, and ensure universal access to healthier and more sustainable diets – for all people, whoever they are and wherever they live. It calls on governments to set national nutrition targets for 2025 and milestones based on internationally agreed indicators.

For more information about the Decade of Action on Nutrition on the who.int website

Global report on Diabetes

The first WHO Global report on diabetes states that the number of adults living with diabetes has almost quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults. Factors driving this dramatic rise include overweight and obesity.

In 2012 alone diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths and its complications can lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.

The report calls on governments to ensure that people are able to make healthy choices and that health systems are able to diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes. It encourages us all to eat healthily, be physically active, and avoid excessive weight gain.

To read the Global Report on Diabetes on the who.int website

 

Diet, physical activity and health

In Europe today, 6 of the 7 biggest risk factors for premature death – blood pressure, cholesterol, Body Mass Index, inadequate fruit and vegetable intake, physical inactivity and alcohol abuse – relate to how we eat, drink and move.

In April 2016 a conference was held on ‘Diet, Physical Activity and Health: a European Platform for Action‘.

Presentations included:

  • teaching children to be media-literate
  • responsible advertising
  • helping consumers make more informed food choices

To see all the presentations on the ec.europa.eu website