Policy at World Cancer Research Fund: our year in numbers

PPA team end of year round-up

Our Policy and Public Affairs team established a tradition last year: every December, we reflect on the past year – good and bad – and look ahead to the next. We’ve crunched the numbers behind what we’ve been up to so let’s begin the count for 2023…

The WCRF International policy team

1,929 policies in our databases

Our NOURISHING and MOVING policy databases continue to grow. There are more than 1,200 nutrition policies in the NOURISHING database, and more than 700 physical activity policies in our MOVING database. We are always looking to add more. Has your country implemented new policies to enable healthy diets and physically active populations? Get in touch.

2 policy indexes and associated policy briefs

We haven’t only been collecting policies in our databases; we also analysed how well designed they are. Our NOURISHING (nutrition) and MOVING (physical activity) policy indexes compare 30 European countries on how well their national governments are doing in implementing well-designed prevention policies. Read analysis of the indexes in 2 briefs on nutrition (pdf) and physical activity (pdf) policy.

60 country snapshots

Alongside our policy indexes, we produced country snapshots, which give detailed insights into the status of nutrition and physical activity policy in 30 European countries.

> Consult our country policy snapshots here: nutrition and physical activity

1 new Building Momentum report

We’ve continued our Building Momentum series with the launch of our 4th report, on establishing robust policies to promote physical activity in primary healthcare. The report sets out the emerging evidence for the benefits of promoting physical activity in primary healthcare, and explains why designing and enacting such policies is good for individual health and economies.

3 webinars

Our policy indexes and the 4th Building Momentum reports were launched via online seminars. They are all available to watch again:

5 High-Level Meetings

We continued our advocacy for the prevention of cancer and other non-communicable diseases at the highest levels. As every year, we attended the governing body meetings of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Executive Board and the World Health Assembly, where we delivered 7 constituency and joint statements.


Kendra Chow and Dr Tedros
Kendra Chow and Dr Tedros

Our advocacy for healthy food systems continued at the United Nations Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment. We also participated in the High-Level Meeting on childhood obesity convened by the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council.

1 position statement

Our position statement (pdf) on universal health coverage (UHC) was published this year, and will guide our engagement on UHC, which must include prevention and health promotion measures for NCDs, including cancer.

4 UK parliamentary events

Among these, we attended the launch of Obesity Health Alliance’s manifesto and were there when the One Cancer Voice petition was handed in.

25 languages

Our country snapshots, all developed as part of the CO-CREATE project, were translated into their respective national languages. The translations can be downloaded from our CO-CREATE library of resources.

12 conferences and events

We presented our CO-CREATE findings in posters and oral presentations at 5 conferences this year, including the European Congress on Obesity, the annual meeting of the International Society on Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, as well as the Health Enhancing Physical Activity conference (HEPA Europe). In the UK, we presented these outputs at the UK Congress on Obesity and the UK Prevention Research Conference.

1 award nomination

We also went to the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, where we were 1 of the 3 finalists for the Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Control Awards.

More than 18,000 views of our blogs

Our monthly blogs this year have reached many eyes. We covered a wide range of topics, all of them vital for cancer prevention. This includes a blog on ultra-processed food (UPF), a hot topic in food policy, which examined UPF and how we need to be guided by facts, not fear.

We also wrote a series of blogs exploring health inequalities in cancer, covering:

8 responses to consultations

This year, we’ve prepared consultation responses on a range of issues, from a WHO consultation on fiscal measures to support healthy diets, to UK government consultations on advertising restrictions on HFSS (high in fat, salt and sugar) products, and labelling of no and low alcohol drinks.

7 campaigns supported

We’ve supported 7 international and UK campaigns, including the NCD Alliance Week of Global Action on NCDs, the European Awareness Week for Alcohol Related Harm and Obesity Health Alliance’s Recipe for Change.

3 papers available open access

3 papers were published in Obesity Reviews as part of a CO-CREATE project supplement:

  1. The 1st focuses on our experience of populating the MOVING database.
  2. The 2nd focuses on the development of our new NOURISHING and MOVING policy benchmarking tools.
  3. The 3rd is a pilot test of the NOURISHING policy index.

1 good-bye to CO-CREATE

This year, we’re saying goodbye to the CO-CREATE project. After 5 years, this ground-breaking EU-funded project on child and adolescent obesity has now come to an end. We are proud to have been part of it.

1 hello to 2024

We are looking forward to an equally busy 2024. In the UK, we are gearing up for a general election, which will see us work with other like-minded health sector organisations to push prevention to the top of the political agenda. The price of continued inaction, as we have experienced too often in recent years, is too high for the country to afford.

Internationally, together with our partners we will start preparing for an important milestone in global work to tackle NCDs, the UN High-Level Meeting on NCD prevention and control taking place in 2025. 2025 might seem distant, but it really isn’t as governments all over the world will be already thinking about their plans during 2024.

Our job will be to ask the hard questions on progress (or lack thereof), highlight the actions needed now to better tackle NCDs, and to think about where we need to be going next.