CSPI welcomes world health organization recommendations to combat obesity

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) applauded the release of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity, and Health. The report identifies diet and physical inactivity as leading causes of illness and death and recommends that governments adopt policies to combat obesity, heart disease, and other diet-related health problems.

The report recommends that governments should limit unhealthful foods in schools, address the issue of marketing food to children, and encourage manufacturers to reduce sodium, saturated and trans fats, or sugars in certain foods. It also recommends that food pricing policies, like agricultural subsidies and taxes, should be used to promote the consumption of more healthful foods, according to the report.

“The WHO report points the way toward preventing obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other diet-related diseases, despite strong opposition from the sugar and soft drink industries,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “While the Bush Administration has given lip service to stemming the obesity epidemic, it has largely failed to adopt policies that would encourage more healthful diets.”

The WHO report will be reviewed by the U.S. and other WHO-member countries and is scheduled to be approved in final form in May 2004.