Studies & White Papers

Diet, nutrition, and the prevention of chronic diseases: report of a joint WHO/FAO expert consultation

This report examines the literature on the relationship between global diet and physical activity patterns and the major nutrition-related chronic diseases. Overall, they reinforce previous findings that establish diet and physical activity as crucial determinants of chronic disease

Both developed and non-developed regions of the world face high levels of chronic disease, with 79% of worldwide deaths due to chronic disease occurring in developing countries. Developing countries also face a double burden of both chronic disease and malnutrition.

Recommendations are made to help prevent death and disability from major nutrition-related chronic diseases. In particular, the report notes that the root causes of malnutrition must be addressed with an integrated approach, of which nutritional programs are only one aspect. Integrated policies and programs can maximize the effectiveness of intervention to effectively lift the double burden of both chronic disease and malnutrition.


The recommendations contained in this report are based on the examination and analysis of the best available evidence and the collective judgement of a group of experts from WHO and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization).


Published on July 22, 2003