Table 1

Key WHO/UN publications and events relating to obesity and dietary NCDs from 2000 onwards

2000Global strategy for the prevention and control of NCDs135 The strategy was adopted at the 53rd World Health Assembly (WHA).
2003Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases (TRS 916)136 Report of the joint WHO/FAO expert consultation with Member States, UN agencies, civil society and the private sector.137 It includes a recommendation to limit free sugar intake to 10% of calorie intake.
2004Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health138 The strategy was mandated by Member States at the 55th and endorsed at the 57th WHA. After opposition from industry and some Member States to TRS 916, reference to the expert report and its key recommendations was dropped from the final strategy.
20082008–2013 action plan for the global strategy for the prevention and control of NCDs138 The action plan draws on the 2000 global strategy and the 2004 global strategy, setting out six key objectives. It was endorsed at the 61st WHA.
2010Set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children139 The set of evidence-based recommendations was endorsed at the 62nd WHA and followed up by a mandate to develop technical guidance to support the implementation of the recommendations.
2011WHO global forum: addressing the challenge of NCDs140 In the lead-up to the 2011 HLM, the global forum was held in Moscow as a multistakeholder forum which brought together Member States and a range of non-state actors, including the private sector.
2011 First UN HLM on NCDs: political declaration of the first HLM on NCDs20 The political declaration of the first HLM on NCDs was adopted at the 66th UN General Assembly.
2012A framework for implementing the set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children141 Technical guidance on the implementation of the set of recommendations was provided following a mandate by the 62nd WHA.
2013Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013–20201 The 2013–2020 action plan, replacing the 2008–2013 action plan, was adopted at the 66th WHA. It sets nine voluntary targets, including a 25% reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2025, and provides policy recommendations to achieve these.
2014Rome declaration on nutrition (and framework for action)142 143 Outcome documents of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), which was convened jointly by WHO and FAO, and attended by ‘nearly 100 (representatives) from the business community’.144
2014 Second UN HLM on NCDs: outcome document of the second HLM on NCDs21 The second HLM took place to review and assess progress towards NCD targets. The outcome document was adopted at the 68th UN General Assembly.
2015Guideline: sugars intake for adults and children65 Part of the effort to reach targets set by the 2013–2020 action plan and based on a review of the scientific evidence and expert consultation, the new guidelines recommend a reduction of daily intake of free sugars to <10% of total energy intake, with a reduction to below 5% recommended for further health benefits.
2016Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)145 Ratified in 2015, the 17 SDGs replaced the Millennium Development Goals on 1 January 2016. SDG 3 is focused on health, but many others relate to food and nutrition.146
2016Fiscal policies for diet and the prevention of NCDs147 Based on a technical meeting held on 5–6 May 2015 in response to the increasing number of Member State requesting guidance on fiscal policies for health. The report supports sugar-sweetened beverage taxes.
2016Report of the commission on ending childhood obesity148 The commission was established in 2014 by the Director General, and its final report welcomed at the 69th WHA in 2016. The process leading up to the report included consultation with the private sector and civil society.
2017Montevideo roadmap 2018–2030 on NCDs as a sustainable development priority149 The roadmap is the outcome document of the WHO global conference on NCDs, a high-level event. The process leading up to the conference included a public consultation.
2017Tackling NCDs: ‘best buys’ and other recommended interventions for the prevention and control of NCDs150 Appendix 3 of the 2013–2020 action plan was endorsed at the 70th WHA with resolution WHA70.11. It identifies a menu of policy options for Member States, part of which is the set of cost-effective best buys. Italy and the USA did not endorse the updated set of best buys and other recommended interventions, dissociating themselves from the relevant paragraph of WHA70.11.151
2018Time to deliver: report of the WHO independent high-level commission on NCDs26 The first report of the high-level commission on NCDs, tasked with advising the WHO Director General on accelerating progress against NCDs, was published following a public consultation and provided six recommendations. It was welcomed at the 73rd UN General Assembly.
2018 Third UN HLM on NCDs: political declaration of the third HLM on NCDs22 Adopted at the 73rd UN General Assembly, following the third HLM on NCDs, the political declaration reaffirms commitments to address NCDs globally and schedules the next HLM for 2025.
2019Final report of the WHO independent high-level commission on NCDs: it is time to walk the talk152 The second and final report of the WHO independent high-level commission on NCDs delivers a number of recommendations to WHO, including scaling up private sector engagement.
  • FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization; HLM, high-level meeting; NCD, non-communicable disease; TRS, technical report series; UN, United Nations.