ECDA welcomes launch of WHO/Europe report on commercial determinants of NCDs

In an effort to highlight the variety of risk factors contributing to high rates of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) throughout Europe, ECDA applauds and supports WHO/Europe’s forthcoming report on commercial determinants of health. The report will be officially launched at a Brussels-based forum on 12 June, hosted by the Belgian Ministry of Health and led by Frank Vandenbroucke, Belgian Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health.

Commercial determinants of health, or the ways in which commercial sector actors, products, and practices impact health outcomes, are known to contribute to the rise of NCDs across the region and globally.

ECDA is concerned with the role that certain industry operators and practices play in increasing population exposure to the main risk factors and drivers of NCDs, contributing to higher rates of NCDs, particularly through the marketing and promotion of tobacco and alcohol products. ECDA seconds WHO/Europe’s warnings on this matter. Marketing practices on social media and online platforms, targeted towards the younger generations, is particularly alarming.

ECDA further supports WHO/Europe’s efforts to engage policymakers on the issue of NCDs and believes the forthcoming report will be a critical tool in promoting this dialogue.

To build an NCD-free Europe, integrated action at the EU level that targets not just mortality from NCDs, but also their prevalence and underlying causes is essential. ECDA looks forward to the upcoming presentation of WHO/Europe’s strategies for protecting the public from the harmful effects of commercial activities and calls on EU policy leaders to maintain political urgency to put a halt to actions that undermine the response to NCDs.