A Statement of Italy on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases

GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 68th SESSION, HIGH LEVEL MEETING ON THE COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT OF THE PROGRESS ACHIEVED IN THE PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES, 10 JULY 2014.

On 10 July, Ms. Sabrina De Camillis, of the Italian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, took part in a high-level meeting aimed at assessing the achievements in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs). She underlined that Italy was the first European country to enact a rule prohibiting smoking in enclosed workplaces and public places, as well as a country where selling tobacco and alcoholics to minors is forbidden. Highlighting the fact that the fight against NCDs passes through the promotion of a healthy lifestyle rather than through thoughtless food-labelling, she said:

I underline with proud that the Mediterranean diet has been included in the World Heritage list of UNESCO.

[…]

The demons that must be fought are not individual ingredients, but bad habits. It is necessary to teach people that they must eat the right quantities and diversify portions. Equally, I deem it correct to avoid food-evaluation systems based on nutritional values or, even worse, on pictorial representations that unjustifiably focus on the composition of the single product, irrespective of the ways and frequency of consumption. […]

In the same vein, she added a note that made implicit reference to the precautionary principle:

We must set the primary role of interventions based on lifestyles as a criterion, reject elements that are not supported by scientific evidence, involve the population by making it protagonist and aware of its own choices through public sensitisation campaigns. […]

The full text of the statement (in French) can be found here.

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