Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation
Food and food products have become commodities produced and traded in a market that has expanded from an essentially local base to an increasingly global one. Changes in the world food economy are reflected in shifting dietary patterns, for example, increased consumption of energy-dense diets high in fat, particularly saturated fat, and low in unrefined carbohydrates.
These patterns are combined with a decline in energy expenditure that is associated with a sedentary lifestyle --- motorized transport, labour-saving devices in the home, the phasing out of physically demanding manual tasks in the workplace, and leisure time that is preponderantly devoted to physically undemanding pastimes.
Because of these changes in dietary and lifestyle patterns, chronic NCDs --- including obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension and stroke, and some types of cancer --- are becoming increasingly significant causes of disability and premature death in both developing and newly developed countries, placing additional burdens on already overtaxed national health budgets.
The Consultation provided an opportune moment for FAO and WHO to draw on the latest scientific evidence available and to update recommendations for action to governments, international agencies and concerned partners in the public and private sectors. The overall aim of these recommendations is to implement more effective and sustainable policies and strategies to deal with the increasing public health challenges related to diet and health.
WHO Technical Report Series 916