Healthy Eating. The 152nd session of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded on February 7. On the occasion, they discussed and endorsed a policy statement that includes an updated draft menu of policy options and cost-effective interventions for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, including front-of-package food labeling. While the report highlights that “no country is on track to meet the nine voluntary global targets for implementation by 2025,” WHO stresses that “countries that have achieved the best results in the fight against NCDs are those that implement regulatory, legislative and policy measures in the field.”
In this context, WHO approved the updated version of Appendix 3 of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2030. Such updates complement existing global strategies and action plans in order to accelerate progress towards meeting the voluntary global targets on NCDs. Among the policies mentioned are: reformulation of foods and beverages to make them healthier, front-of-food labeling, behavior change communication, and protection of children from the harmful effects of ultra processed food promotion in their diet.
The text mentions that its purpose is “to assist Member States to implement, as appropriate to country circumstances (without prejudice to the sovereign rights of nations to determine their fiscal and other policies), measures to achieve the nine voluntary global targets for the prevention and control of NCDs through the six goals of the WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2030.”
These public policies endorsed by the WHO are those recommended by the organization because of their cost-effectiveness. In addition, they will serve to expand their debate in national congresses and eventual application through the different mechanisms that international organizations have to influence the formulation of public policies, such as the Parliamentary Fronts against Hunger of the FAO.
Engagement opportunity for McDonald’s
McDonald’s may participate in the process of creating bills or regulations in public consultation when the Executive and Legislative Branches present initiatives on the subject. The participation of the private sector will be conditioned to the public stakeholders to allow the participation of other social sectors in the debate.