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Montevideo, July 18th 2024 - 16:36 UTC

 

 

WHO Europe blames four industries for merchandising policies that kill millions

Thursday, June 13th 2024 - 10:11 UTC
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WHO said, 1.15 million deaths per year in Europe are caused by smoking, 426,857 by alcohol, 117,290 by diets high in processed meats and 252,187 diets high in salt. WHO said, 1.15 million deaths per year in Europe are caused by smoking, 426,857 by alcohol, 117,290 by diets high in processed meats and 252,187 diets high in salt.

WHO Europe called for strict regulation to curb industry power and promote public health following a report blaming tobacco, alcohol, ultra-processed foods, and fossil fuels for some 2,7 million deaths in the continent.

In the report titled “Commercial determinants of non-communicable diseases in the WHO Europe Region,” four industries were blamed for killing at least 7,000 people in the region every day, Hans Kluge, the director of the WHO Europe region, said in a statement.

Overall WHO said, 1.15 million deaths per year in Europe are caused by smoking, 426,857 by alcohol, 117,290 by diets high in processed meats and 252,187 by diets high in salt. These figures do not even include deaths caused by obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar or high cholesterol level — all of which are linked to unhealthy diets.

WHO also accused the four industries of obstructing public policies that could hit their profits, noting that industry tactics included targeted marketing strategies, disinformation, promotions on social media and “subverting science” such as funding research that promotes their goals.

”These tactics threaten public health gains of the past century and prevent countries from reaching their health targets,“ the WHO report pointed out. Adding that industry lobbying was hampering efforts to tackle non-communicable illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes

WHO underlined that the ”primary interest of all major corporations is profit,“ while having a large market share ”often also translates into political power.“

Almost 60% of adults and a third of children in Europe are overweight or obese, according to the WHO. The most recent data, from 2017, showed that one death in five attributed to cardiovascular disease and cancer in Europe was the result of unhealthy eating habits.

WHO urged countries to fight back by enforcing stronger regulations on the marketing of unhealthy products, monopolistic practices and lobbying. ”People must take precedence before profit, always,” Kluge said.

Tags: Hans Kluge, WHO.

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