Response to WHO Draft Implemention Plan for the Recommendations to end Child Obeisty

October 12th 2016

Three international organisations - the World Obesity Federation, the NCD Alliance and the World Cancer Research Fund - have prepared a joint response to the WHO Draft Implementation Plan for the Recommendations to End Childhood Obesity

As European Heart Network, we have aligned ourselves with the submission of these three organisations.

In summary, the comments made by these three organisations are:

  • We are pleased to see that the implementation plan is directly aligned with the recommendations that were made in the final report of the ECHO Commission. We strongly commend WHO for maintaining the integrity of the initial set of recommendations which highlights the need for a comprehensive package of policies to be adopted, across the life course and by different sectors of government and of society. It is clear that no one action is sufficient to address this growing epidemic, nor will one sector alone curb the issue. A piecemeal approach will achieve little and the implementation plan should make a strong case for governments to take a systems approach to ending childhood obesity.
  • We welcome the attention given to the role of civil society, particularly the reference made to the need for Member States to support and engage civil society. Civil society organisations around the world are supporting their governments in the development and implementation of ambitious public policies to protect and promote local, healthy and sustainable diets and physical activity. Collectively, the signatories of this response stand ready to work with WHO and Member States to end childhood obesity.
  • We have one major concern, which is that the tables covering the steps to be taken and the tools available are insufficiently detailed to be genuinely helpful to Member States, and should include suggestions for targets and indicators of progress. This will make the Implementation Plan very useful, but we acknowledge that it will take more time to prepare. If it cannot be done within the time available for the present Plan then we suggest that WHO proposes a second phase for the development of the Plan, namely the production of a Framework for Evaluating Progress of the Implementation Plan, as a tool for Member States. In a later section of the present consultation response we have given some examples of the types of indicators and accountability measures that could be used, but in the time available we have not been able to give this the comprehensive attention it deserves, nor have we been able to consult the many public health specialists in our networks with relevant expertise that could help create such a Framework for Evaluation. We will be happy to assist in the development of such a document in due course.
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