IHP news 513: NCDs

By on March 15, 2019

WHO (report) – Monitoring and restricting digital marketing of unhealthy products to children and adolescents

WHO Euro ;

The WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases organized an expert meeting on monitoring of digital marketing of unhealthy products to children and adolescents in June 2018. Based on that meeting, this report aims to provide a tool to support Member States in monitoring digital marketing of unhealthy products to children; the resulting tool – the so-called CLICK monitoring framework – is flexible and can be adapted to national context. The report also describes current digital marketing strategies, the challenges arising from current practices, and some policy options to tackle digital marketing to children and adolescents….”

BMJ Analysis – Tobacco industry involvement in children’s sugary drinks market


Kim H Nguyen and colleagues examine how tobacco companies applied their knowledge of flavours, colours, and child focused marketing to develop leading children’s sugar sweetened drink brands. These techniques continue to be used by drinks companies despite industry agreement not to promote unhealthy products in this way…”

International Health – Prevention of opportunistic non-communicable diseases

M Hegelund et al; https://academic.oup.com/inthealth/advance-article/doi/10.1093/inthealth/ihz011/5374502?searchresult=1

As strategies targeting undernutrition and infections become increasingly successful in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), a second challenge has appeared, namely premature onset of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In LMICs, NCDs are often related to exposure to undernutrition and infections. As NCDs strike societies and individuals with impaired resistance or a deficient health (care) state, why not label such diseases ‘opportunistic’, in analogy with opportunistic infections attacking individuals with HIV? We propose the concept of opportunistic NCDs, hoping that fighting against infections, and for better maternal and child health, is becoming acknowledged as essential for the early prevention of NCDs.”

NYT – Vaping is Big Tobacco’s Bait and Switch


Cigarettes hooked generations of teenagers. Now e-cigarettes might do the same.”

For the latest news on this, see NYTFDA moves to restrict flavored E-cigarette sales to teenagers.

Int Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health – Alcohol Industry CSR Organisations: What Can Their Twitter Activity Tell Us about Their Independence and Their Priorities? A Comparative Analysis

N M Hessari et al ; https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/5/892

There are concerns about the accuracy of the health information provided by alcohol industry (AI)-funded organisations and about their independence. We conducted a content analysis of the health information disseminated by AI-funded organisations through Twitter, compared with non-AI-funded charities, to assess whether their messages align with industry and/or public health objectives. … …  Industry-funded bodies were significantly less likely to tweet about alcohol marketing, advertising and sponsorship; alcohol pricing; and physical health harms, including cancers, heart disease and pregnancy. They were significantly more likely to tweet about behavioural aspects of drinking and less likely to mention cancer risk; particularly breast cancer. These findings are consistent with previous evidence that the purpose of such bodies is the protection of the alcohol market, and of the alcohol industry’s reputation. Their messaging strongly aligns with AI corporate social responsibility goals. The focus away from health harms, particularly cancer, is also consistent with previous evidence. The evidence does not support claims by these alcohol-industry-funded bodies about their independence from industry.”

Nature (news) – Nearly half of global childhood cancer cases go undiagnosed


Almost half of childhood cancer cases worldwide go undiagnosed, according to an analysis. Using data from the World Health Organization (WHO), researchers estimate that in 2015, 397,000 children under 15 developed cancer globally — and that 43% of those cases went undiagnosed. The figures are much higher than those from official cancer registries, say the scientists, meaning that tens of thousands of children each year go without treatment, and potentially die from the disease without knowing they have it. Previous estimates have suggested that 200,000 children worldwide are diagnosed with cancer each year….”

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