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Expatriate Insurance News: UN NCD summit 'is major opportunity'

Expat health insurance customers may wish to pay close attention to the United Nations (UN) summit on non-communicable disease (NCD).

This is because it could be "one of the most significant events in global health for many, many years", according to World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) director of science and communications Dr Kate Allen.

She explained that attempts to reduce the proliferation of preventable cancer cases, such as by tackling poor diets, physical inactivity, obesity and smoking, will also curtail the number of people diagnosed with other ailments.

These include respiratory disease, heart problems and diabetes, as these share many of their risk factors with tumours.

There are 2.8 million cases of cancer every year that could have been avoided through healthier lifestyles, while many more illnesses would not occur if policies were implemented to deal with this, the expert noted.

When the wide array of diseases is considered, "it starts to come into focus just how big an opportunity the summit is", Dr Allen continued.

One of the policies the WCRF would like to see implemented is control over the permissible advertising that producers of unhealthy meals are allowed to create and broadcast, as this could "lead to a healthy food supply", she argued.

Furthermore, the expert stated that legislation relating to the environment or transport ought to be crafted in such a way as to encourage activity and physical exercise.

There are more than four times as many new cases of cancer every year as there are HIV infections, with estimates of the number of people worldwide being stricken with this ailment estimated at 12 million every 12 months, according to the WCRF.

In less than a decade, this figure has risen by a fifth, the organisation added.

Within developing countries, the charity expects levels to soar in the near future.

It claimed that this UN summit is a "once in a generation" opportunity to challenge this problem.

This high-level meeting is scheduled to take place on September 19th and 20th of this year.

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