Driving action to prevent cancer and other non-communicable diseases

A new policy framework for promoting healthy diets, physical activity, breastfeeding and reducing alcohol consumption

The prevention of cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is one of the most significant public health challenges of the 21st century, requiring a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach in response. However, countries are not taking sufficient action to meet global NCD targets.

Our policy brief, Driving action to prevent cancer and other non-communicable diseases: a new policy framework for promoting healthy diets, physical activity, breastfeeding and reducing alcohol consumption, highlights the latest research on the links between diet, nutrition, physical activity and cancer, outlines why public policy is critically important to preventing cancer and other diet-related NCDs and presents a new policy framework to support governments to take action.

We developed the new policy framework, using our NOURISHING framework as a foundation, to address physical activity, breastfeeding and alcohol consumption, in addition to diet. The new policy framework modifies NOURISHING’s 10 policy areas, expanding them to 11 areas, adding ‘Healthy urban design’, and broadens NOURISHING’s policy domains to health-enhancing environments, systems change and behaviour change communication. The new framework is complementary to, but does not replace, the NOURISHING framework.

Driving action graphic

The new policy framework can be used by governments to consider policy actions that will help create environments conducive for people and communities to follow our Cancer Prevention Recommendations.

The brief also highlights examples of implemented policy actions that promote healthy diets, physical activity, breastfeeding and reduce alcohol consumption across eight of the 11 policy areas of the new policy framework, from which countries can learn and tailor to their specific contexts.

In the brief we call on governments to:

  • provide national leadership in NCD prevention and take a comprehensive approach
  • focus on implementation to help achieve the 2025 NCD targets and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
  • monitor and evaluate implemented policy actions and communicate lessons learned

Read the full policy brief here.