Obesity now “most visible epidemic” in some countries: WHO director general

| September 16, 2013

The success that tobacco control strategies have delivered in the West is starting to become something of a problem.

Dr. Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organization, said on Wednesday that effective tobacco control measures and changing social norms had seen smoking prevalence drop by 50 percent or more in wealthy countries.

Giving the keynote address for the International Conference on Public Health Priorities in the 21st Century: The Endgame for Tobacco, Chan said that in these countries, tobacco use was increasingly concentrated in sectors of society with lower levels of education, income and engagement in the political process.

“In other words, the very success of tobacco control has reduced the visibility of smoking as a problem demanding urgent attention,” she said.

“In some cases, obesity is now the most visible epidemic that needs to be stopped.

“Success is always good, but must not be allowed to conceal the fact that the job of tobacco control is far from done.”

The conference was held in New Delhi, India.

Category: Breaking News

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