Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, makes a keynote address at the 47th meeting of the National Academy of Medicine. Read an excerpt here:

‘In just a few decades, the world has moved from a nutrition profile in which the prevalence of underweight was more than double that of obesity, to the current situation in which more people worldwide are obese than underweight.


Population-wide increases in body weight are the warning signal that big trouble is on its way. It takes time, but trouble eventually arrives as a wave of lifestyle-related chronic diseases.

Cardiovascular diseases are now the leading killers worldwide. In the developing world, heart attacks tend to kill abruptly, with no lingering burden on the health system.

For cancer, the most devastating diagnosis in most cultures, 70% of patients in resource-constrained settings are diagnosed so late that pain relief is the only treatment option. No radiotherapy. No chemotherapy. No surgery. No advanced treatments costing around $150,000 per patient per year.’

Read more at the World Health Organisation’s website.