WHO, FAO in joint efforts to promote fruit consumption

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have announced a unified approach to promote greater consumption of fruit and vegetables, a joint statement from the two UN bodies has said.
The joint fruit and vegetable promotion effort is being developed within the framework of the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.
This effort is being developed in collaboration with other global partners, including national "5-a-day" type multi-stakeholder organizations, which promote fruit and vegetable consumption.
The announcement was made on 11 November in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the annual meeting of the WHO Global Forum on Non- Communicable Disease (NCD) Prevention and Control.
"There is strong and growing evidence that sufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables helps prevent many diseases and promotes good health but large parts of the world's population consume too little of these," Pekka Puska, WHO Director, NCD Prevention and Health Promotion, says.
According to Kraisid Tontisirin, Director of FAO's Food and Nutrition Division, the onus now falls on to the UN agricultural body to increase worldwide awareness of the health benefits of increased fruit and vegetable consumption.
"To effectively promote more consumption of fruit and vegetables, prevailing diets need to be more systematically assessed for their nutrition and health implications," the official suggested According to the WHO, NCDs account for almost 60 percent of global deaths, and 45 percent of the global burden of disease.
Unhealthy diet, together with physical inactivity and tobacco use, are among the key preventable risk factors for NCDs.
"Sufficient daily intake of fruit and vegetables could help prevent major NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity and certain cancers," said the statement.

16 november 2003 17:59:00




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