WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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PERSPECTIVE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-26

Population-based dietary approaches for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases


1 Diabetes and Endocrine Unit, National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
Noel P Somasundaram
Diabetes and Endocrine Unit, National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Colombo 10
Sri Lanka
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206548

PMID: 28604393

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As the incidence of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes continues to rise at an alarming rate in South-East Asia, it is imperative that urgent and population-wide strategies are adopted. The most important contributors to the rise in noncommunicable disease are a rise in mean caloric intake and a decrease in physical activity. The evidence for population-based dietary approaches to counter these factors is reviewed. Several structural and cohesive interdepartmental coordination efforts are required for effective implementation of prevention strategies. Since low- and middle-income countries may lack the frameworks for effective and integrated multi-stakeholder intervention, implementation of population-based dietary and physical-activity approaches may be delayed and may be too late for effective prevention in current at-risk cohorts. Evidence-based strategies to decrease energy intake and increase physical activity are now well established and their urgent adoption by Member States of the World Health Organization South-East Asia Region is essential. In the context of Sri Lanka, for example, it is recommended that the most effective and easy-to-implement interventions would be media campaigns, restrictions on advertisement of unhealthy foods, taxation of unhealthy foods, subsidies for production of healthy foods, and laws on nutrition labelling that introduce colour coding of packaged foods.


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