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A new report released by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs calls on the agriculture and food sectors to play a role in mitigating the global rise in noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Bringing Agriculture to the Table: How Agriculture and Food Policy can Play a Role in Preventing Chronic Disease (PDF), which was presented before this morning’s opening of the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, identifies new opportunities for those in heath and agriculture to work together to promote better health. The report was prepared by Dr. Rachel Nugent, University of Washington and project chair for the Chicago Council. The project was guided by an advisory panel of noted agriculture and health experts from academia, private sector and international organizations.

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  1. 1. 0<br />Bringing Agriculture to the Table<br />How Agriculture and Food Can Play a Role in Preventing Chronic Disease<br />Rachel Nugent, PhD, Chair<br />Prepared for the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control<br />
  2. 2. “High priority should be given to influence patterns of diet and physical activity for effective prevention of non-communicable diseases. Intersectoral collaboration…should be encouraged. Such policy should encompass broad measures involving different sectors.” – World Health Assembly A55/16, 27 March 2002<br />“Member States [should] give the highest priority to stimulating permanent multisectoral coordination of nutrition policies and programs and to preventing malnutrition.” – World Health Assembly 31.47, 8-24 May 1978<br />“Plans of action [should] strengthen measures in various sectors to improve nutrition through governmental mechanisms at all levels…and in collaboration with nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.” – World Health Assembly 46.7, 3-14 May 1993<br />The Time is Now<br />
  3. 3. Male<br />Female<br />NCDs kill people at a younger age in developing countries<br />Age-standardized deaths per 100,000 from cardiovascular disease<br />2<br />The highest increases in NCDs are expected in Africa, South-East Asia, and the Southern Mediterranean—an over 20 percent increase expected by 2020.<br />Age-standardized deaths per 100,000 from cardiovascular disease and diabetes<br />Source: WHO, 2008<br />Source: WHO, 2010 <br />
  4. 4. The economic burden of NCDs will overwhelm health systems and slow economic growth <br />3<br />NCDCOSTS<br />Health spending on diabetes ranges from 6% of all health costs in China to 15% in Mexico <br />Source: P. Zhang, et al, 2010<br />Each 10%increase in NCD burden is associated with a 0.5% reduction in annual economic growth<br />Source: WHO<br />23 high burden countries are projected to lose $84 billion in GDP between 2005-2015 from 3 NCDs<br />Source: Abegunde, et al, 2007<br />NCDs will cost more than $47 trillion globally between now and 2030<br />Source: D. Bloom, 2011 <br />
  5. 5. Dietary contributors to NCDs: <br />Insufficient intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains<br />Excess intake of salt, saturated fat, and trans-fatty acids<br />Lead to:<br />High blood pressure, high cholesterol <br />Overweight and obesity<br />Poor nutrition contributes to poor health<br />About 44% of all diabetes cases, 23% of heart diseases, and 7 to 14% of cancers are related to overweight and obesity<br />4<br />Roughly half of all deaths from stroke and heart disease are attributed to high blood pressure<br />
  6. 6. Multiple stakeholders in the agriculture and food supply chain <br />5<br />Production Agriculture and Aquaculture <br />Food Wholesaling and Retailing<br />Secondary Food Storage and Processing<br />Primary Food Storage, Processing and Distribution<br />Food Marketing<br />Source: WHO<br />
  7. 7. Across geographies, cultures, and populations, common principles guide food supply quality <br />Diversify, emphasizing fruits, vegetables, quality carbohydrates, nuts, fish, and healthy oils<br />Limit processed foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, and industrial trans fat and salt <br />Limit energy-intensive food, such as dairy and meat<br />6<br />
  8. 8. Avenues of Change: GovernanceFinancingPolicyResearch and EducationTechnologyPersonal Behavior<br />
  9. 9. Key recommendations at a glance<br />Nationalgovernments<br />International organizations<br />Consumersand their<br />Consumersand their<br />Agri<br />Donors: Should assess structural and programmatic opportunities for linked programming among agriculture, nutrition, and health<br />National governments: Use fiscal, trade, and regulatory instruments to improve food quality where proven effective<br />International organizations: Should supplement and incentivize countries through development loans and technical assistance that align agriculture and health<br />Agri-food Businesses: Should develop and manage agriculture food value chains to produce maximum health benefit<br />Consumers and their representatives: Actively seek and work with agriculture and food companies to build political will for policy change and address consumer needs for affordable healthy options<br />representatives<br />representatives<br />International organizations<br />– food<br />Nationalgovernments<br />Agri<br />businesses<br />– food<br />businesses<br />Donors<br />Donors<br />
  10. 10. Tools for agriculture to improve health <br />9<br />Agriculture and FoodValue Chain Approaches<br />Mutual Metrics<br />A value chain reveals social, environmental and health benefits in the production process.<br />EXAMPLES:<br /><ul><li>New product formulation and cold chain innovations to reach people at the bottom of the pyramid
  11. 11. Build capacity into local food chains to raise quality and lower price</li></ul>Mutual metrics are results indicators shared between agriculture and health. <br />EXAMPLES:<br /><ul><li>Volume of fresh fruits and vegetables timely delivered to consumer markets
  12. 12. Substitution of healthier oils for palm oil in processed foods</li></li></ul><li>Agriculture can improve health by…<br />10<br />Partnering for New Programs and Policies<br />Creating New Policy for a Healthy Food Supply<br />EXAMPLES:<br /><ul><li>Limit marketing to children and reduce sodium and fat content in products. Report progress to the public and WHO
  13. 13. Partner with companies in the developing world to help small food processors produce safe, nutritious, affordable food products</li></ul>EXAMPLES:<br /><ul><li>Voluntary or mandatory reductions in salt and trans fat content of foods
  14. 14. Limitations on sales and marketing of high-sugar products to children
  15. 15. Calorie information on restaurant menus</li></li></ul><li>“Effective NCD prevention and control require leadership and multisectoral approachesfor health at the government level, including, as appropriate, health in all policies and whole-of-government approaches.” – Draft political outcome document, September 2011<br />“Through the actions of multisectoral governing institutionsin place at the UN and in numerous member countries, and the inclusion in the new MDGs of mutual metrics that align agriculture and health objectives, the world has surpassed the WHO target of reducing NCD mortality by 2.5 percent per annum.– Resolution passed for the UN High-Level Meeting to assess progress in preventing and combating NCDs, September 2025<br />We Can all Play a Role<br />
  16. 16. thechicagocouncil.org/HealthyAgandNCD<br />