23 April 2003 | ROMA -- The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
and the World Health Organization (WHO) today launched an independent
report on diet, which will serve as the basis for developing
a global strategy to combat the growing burden of chronic diseases.
Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases, the report
on a two-year-long Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation, was formally
issued by the heads of the two agencies, who called for close cooperation
to help meet the challenge.
The Expert Report contains the best currently
available scientific evidence on the relationship of diet, nutrition
and physical activity
to chronic diseases. The Report examines cardiovascular diseases,
several forms of cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and dental
The burden of chronic diseases is rapidly increasing; in 2001, they
contributed approximately 59 per cent of the 56.5 million total reported
deaths in the world and 46 per cent of the global burden of disease.
The Report concludes that a diet low in saturated fats, sugars and
salt, and high in vegetables and fruits, together with regular physical
activity, will have a major impact on combating this high toll of
death and disease.