The emergence of an EU lifestyle policy: The case of alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy diets

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Series Details Vol.50, No.6, December 2013, p1745-1786
Publication Date December 2013
ISSN 0165-0750
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Publishers Abstract:
In September 2011, the UN General Assembly declared that the global burden and threat of non-communicable diseases (NCD) constituted one of the major challenges for development in the twenty-first century: in 2008, 36 of the 57 million deaths globally (63%) were attributed to NCDs, including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. To this end it recommended the adoption of a "regulatory mix" of cost-effective, population-wide interventions to reduce the impact of the four main NCD-risk factors, namely tobacco use, the harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets, and lack of physical activity. Despite its limited competence in public health, the European Union has progressively recognized the impact of NCDs on the EU's economy and the well-being of its citizens. The impetus to address lifestyle risks at EU level gathered in the 1990s. It stemmed not only from the pressing warnings of the international and the scientific communities, but also from the increased recognition that the EU had a role to play in the area of public health.

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