World Cancer Research Fund International calls for historic breakthrough on child nutrition

We join the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation & other organisations to call for increased action on nutrition & child obesity at the World Health Assembly

18 December 2015

World Cancer Research Fund International today joined the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and 18 other organisations to sign a letter calling for the World Health Organization to use next year’s World Health Assembly to increase the focus on tackling nutrition, including child obesity.

The letter emphasises that the World Health Assembly offers a “historic breakthrough moment” to build on the new Sustainable Development Goals - which include a focus on ending malnutrition in all its forms - by encouraging the world’s health ministers to make SMART (specific, measureable, ambitious, reasonable and time-bound) commitments to improve child nutrition.

The letter, which is addressed to WHO Director General, Margaret Chan, highlights the latest World Health Organization statistics, which suggest that 41 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese in 2014. These children live not just in high-income countries but in low-and-middle income countries too.

Our analysis of global research shows that adults who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of 10 cancers and our policy brief, Curbing global sugar consumption, outlines the actions governments can take to help tackle the rising obesity epidemic.

The letter has been signed by organisations working on both under-nutrition, overweight and obesity - including Save the Children, Action Against Hunger and the British Heart Foundation – and is being sent in advance of a WHO Executive Board meeting on 26-30 January, where the Global Action Plan on NCDs (non-communicable diseases) will be discussed. The full letter can be read here.