Professor Shiriki Kumanyika, co-chair of the IOTF, spoke on behalf of IASO at the United Nations hearings into Non-Communicable Diseases, held in New York in June. She pointed out that IASO was the only major international organisation speaking for obesity and that obesity was a major risk factor for the NCD's being discussed. Obesity was not easily treated and the emphasis must be on prevention, especially the up-stream actions such as controlling marketing to children.
Professor Kumanyika called on the UN to consider the international, cross-border polices which need to be introduced to support member states in their drive to prevent obesity. She urged the UN to charge the World Health Organization with helping member states to agree an international code of marketing to children, and for WHO to work with the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition and other UN agencies to develop a food supply policy which meets environmental, developmental and health goals. A webcast of the event is available on the UN website (webcast) and Professor Kumanyika's contribution can be seen 1h 38m after the start of the first session.
As part of its support for the United Nations action on NCD's, IASO has drafted a set of 'Obesity Outcomes' aimed at the UN member states to support their policy development.
- IASO's Obesity Outcomes Statement
IASO has also contributed to the papers for the NCD Alliance - a grouping of major international non-governmental organisations - in their submissions to the UN action on NCDs. In particular, IASO helped to draft the paper on nutrition and physical activity - see here
IASO launches StanMark Principles...
The IASO project on standards for marketing food to children (the StanMark project - see here) comes to its conclusions this summer, with the publication of its outline Principles for Marketing to Children. These principles focus on the standards for marketing which would be needed to reduce the risk of child exposure to market inducements to the consumption of foods high in fats, sugars and salt. The project has sought to define the rules for 'responsible' marketing and is an attempt to improve the current voluntary standards proposed by food companies and international commercial groups. The universal marketing standards can be viewed here
IASO has also been engaged in supporting the World Health Organization as it follows-up the 2010 World Health Assembly's Recommendations on marketing to children. IASO has helped to draft guidance to member states on how to take the next steps to implement these Recommendations. The document is expected to be published by WHO in autumn 2011.
Consumers International is producing a Manual for Monitoring Marketing of Food to Children, to help member states and other NGOs to support the WHO Recommendations. IASO is an advisor on the project and the Manual is due to be published in autumn 2011.
IASO news services to merge...
The two weekly news services - 'Obesity in the News' and 'News on Marketing to Children' sent from the IASO head office - are to be merged in July. Subscribers will automatically receive both services. The email alerting service will be re-designed to provide an easy-to -read one-line summary of recent news items, with more details provided by following links to our web pages at http://www.iaso.org/news/obesity-news/ or direct to the source news pages on the Internet.