Noncommunicable diseases and their risk factors

To grow up healthy, children need to sit less and play more

WHO guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age
WHO/Juana Willumsen

Geneva, 24 April 2019 -- The new guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age were developed by a WHO panel of experts. They assessed the effects on young children of inadequate sleep, and time spent sitting watching screens or restrained in chairs and prams. They also reviewed evidence around the benefits of increased activity levels.

WHO launches ACTIVE: a toolkit for countries to increase physical activity and reduce noncommunicable diseases

17 October 2018 | London - The World Health Organization (WHO) today launched ACTIVE, policy toolkit to help all governments reduce the alarming levels of physical inactivity and the related health, social and economic consequences.

WHO launches new tool showing the value of investing in NCD prevention and management

WHO global business plans for ncds

27 September 2018 | GENEVA/NEW YORK: A new WHO tool was launched yesterday which shows country-specific data on investment opportunities for scaling up interventions to prevent and treat NCDs in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

It focuses on the WHO Best Buys, a set of policies which represent the greatest cost-benefit for tackling NCDs. These broadly include reducing tobacco and alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets, increasing physical activity, and improving the treatment of conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers.

Taking action on childhood obesity report

WHO/TDR /Fernando G. Revilla

25 September 2018 -- Childhood obesity is one of the most serious global public health challenges of the 21st century, affecting every country in the world. In just 40 years the number of school-age children and adolescents with obesity has risen more than 10-fold, from 11 million to 124 million (2016 estimates). All countries have agreed a set of global targets for halting the increase in obesity. While most countries are still off-track to meet the target, many are taking action and some have achieved a levelling-off in childhood obesity rates..

Launch of new global estimates on levels of physical activity in adults

5 SEPTEMBER 2018 - New data published in The Lancet Global Health today show that more than one in four adults globally (28% or 1.4 billion people) are physically inactive. However this can be as high as one in three adults inactive in some counties.

The paper, authored by four World Health Organization experts, reports data that update 2008 estimates on levels of activity and, for the first time, reports trend analyses showing that overall, the global level of inactivity in adults remains largely unchanged since 2001.

Global action plan on physical activity 2018 - 2030

Global action plan on physical activity 2018–2030
WHO /Sergey Volkov

June 2018 -- WHO has developed a new global action plan to help countries scale up policy actions to promote physical activity. It responds to the requests by countries for updated guidance, and a framework of effective and feasible policy actions to increase physical activity at all levels.

The plan sets out four objectives and recommends 20 policy actions that are applicable to all countries and address the cultural, environmental and individual determinants of inactivity.

Saving lives, spending less: a strategic response to noncommunicable diseases

Group of children doing exercise together.

16 May 2018: Saving lives, spending less: a strategic response to noncommunicable diseases reveals, for the first time, the financing needs and returns on investment of the cost-effective and feasible WHO “Best Buy” policies to protect people from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), the world’s leading causes of ill health and death. It shows that for every US$ 1 invested in scaling up interventions to address NCDs in low- and lower-middle-income countries, there will be a return to society of at least US$ 7 in increased employment, productivity and longer life. If all countries use these interventions, the world would move significantly closer to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 to reduce premature death from NCDs by one-third by 2030.

What is prevention of NCDs?

Reducing the major risk factors for noncommunicable diseases – tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and the harmful use of alcohol – is the focus of WHO’s Department for the Prevention of NCDs.