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Cities are already home to over 50% of the world’s population, and this is expected to increase to two thirds by 2030, making them a particularly important focus.
Cities are already home to over 50% of the world’s population, and this is expected to increase to two thirds by 2030, making them a particularly important focus.

Shanghai Declaration Underpins Healthy Cities

The Supreme Council of Health and Food Security set up in 2014, has ratified the 2015-2025 Food Security and Nutrition Document, a roadmap for national policies with a focus on prevention and control of risk factors contributing to NCDs

Shanghai Declaration Underpins Healthy Cities

Systematic integration of food and health policies is the key to overcome the unprecedented challenge of non-communicable diseases, said Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi on Tuesday, urging all countries to pay special attention to the alarming rise in the rate of NCDs across the world.
Underpinning the crucial role that cities and municipal leaders, especially mayors, play in promoting health by creating healthy cities particularly in the context of an increasingly urbanized global population, he said a healthy nation is imperative to sustainable development.
Hashemi was addressing a specialized panel on how progress on SDG 2 (zero hunger) can be accelerated by strengthening good governance for health through action across government sectors, at the World Health Organization’s 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion (Nov. 21-24) in Shanghai.
Representatives from governments and United Nations organizations, city chiefs, and health experts from around the world made two landmark commitments to promote public health and eradicate poverty on the opening day of the conference on Monday.
The Shanghai Declaration on Health Promotion commits to make bold political choices for health, stressing the links between health and wellbeing and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs.
The Shanghai Healthy Cities Mayors’ Consensus contains a commitment by more than 100 mayors to advance health through improved management of urban environments. Cities are already home to over 50% of the world’s population, and this is expected to increase to two thirds by 2030, making them a particularly important focus.
“In order to reach sustainable development, it is essential to have proper management, health awareness, healthy cities, and a healthy country as underpinned by the theme of the conference,” Hashemi said.
All nations, governments, and organizations must be committed to the plans and targets that help improve the health status of the people.
In recent years coordination has improved among certain state bodies in Iran to promote health and achieve sustainable development. The progress has also been noted by international monitoring bodies such as the WHO, he said.

  Effective Interventions
“Tobacco use kills around 6 million people each year. Health literacy must extend from the personal to the political and policy levels,” said Margaret Chan, the director-general of WHO, in her keynote address.
Describing the combination of legislative and fiscal measures as “among the most effective interventions,” Chan called for intersectional efforts at both the national and municipal levels to reshape people’s environments and lifestyle choices.
“Today’s complex health challenges can no longer be addressed by the health sector acting alone. Curbing the rise of antimicrobial resistance requires policy support from agriculture. Access to clean energy fuels economic growth, but it also reduces millions of deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular disease associated with air pollution,” Chan said.

  Food Security
Underlining the direct connection between food security and sustainable development, Hashemi further said nutrition-related problems are among the most critical ones in all high, low, and middle-income countries which will grow in severity in low and middle income ones by 2025.
Globally, there are 2.1 billion obese or overweight people. That is 2.5 times more than the number of people facing food poverty and malnutrition.
The sudden increase in premature deaths due to unhealthy diets is a consequence of the rising demand for harmful food such as sugar, oil, refined grains, and processed meat. In contrast the low demand for vegetables, fruit, and whole grains will leave its adverse affects on the masses, he lamented.
Chan noted that in October, the WHO urged governments to introduce taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce their significant contribution to obesity, diabetes and dental decay.
The event is co-organized by WHO and China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission. Entitled ‘Promoting health in the Sustainable Development Goals: Health for all and all for health,’ it advances the message that health promotion is about enabling and empowering people, communities and societies to take charge of their own health and quality of life.
It highlights the critical links between promoting health and the 2030 Agenda and provides guidance to member states on how to reflect promoting health into national SDGs responses, and how to accelerate progress on SDG targets.
Strengthening good governance for health through action across government sectors, broadening and strengthening social mobilization, and promoting health literacy are among its core objectives.
Ministers of agriculture, development cooperation, financing, foreign affairs, health, planning, and trade, public policy decision makers, and health experts are also attending the meet.

  Roadmap for National Policies
Plans to enhance healthcare in Iran has seen an impetus since the launching of the 2014 Health Reform Plan. The Food and Drug Administration through various measures is creating public health awareness on the huge burden and consequences of unhealthy lifestyles.
The Supreme Council of Health and Food Security set up in 2014 operates directly under President Hassan Rouhani and eight of his ministers, and parliamentarians. In cooperation with representatives from the non-governmental organizations, the council decides macro plans in areas of health, medicine, and public hygiene.
The council has ratified the 2015-2025 Food Security and Nutrition Document, a roadmap for national policies with a focus on prevention and control of risk factors contributing to NCDs.
Reducing import of palm oil by 50%, banning imports of carbonated drinks and juices with high sugar content, prohibiting advertisement of harmful products on mass media or billboards, installing nutrition or “traffic light” tags on over 60% of all food products, imposing tax on tobacco products, placing curbs on tobacco culture and starting crop substitution are among the actions taken so far.
Improving physical exercise, reducing salt consumption and smoking by 30%, controlling obesity and diabetes, reducing the level of trans fatty acids in food products to zero, and reducing salt and sodium use by 30% by 2025 are also on the agenda.

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