GDAR teams up with NCD Alliance and BBC StoryWorks as part of short film series
They’re the world’s biggest killers. Non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes account for 70 percent of all deaths. But many of these diseases can be prevented and the suffering from their effects, reduced. Turning the Tide is a series of short films about the bold actions being carried out by communities and organisations to take on NCDs. The stories are about the small and significant changes being made for better, healthier lives.
The GDAR film shines the spotlight on a citizen science study we’re conducting in partnership with young people and communities in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The study seeks to understand more about how neighbourhoods and daily routines affect health.
Held 2-4 December 2019, STIAS Wallenberg Research Centre, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Africa is experiencing a double burden of disease. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease are overshadowing the gains recorded in communicable disease prevention.
But cities in Africa also represent an opportunity to take the lead on re-thinking strategies to turn the tide of this emerging NCD epidemic.
Non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancers are a global challenge. In fact they are more common in many low and middle income countries than in high income countries. In the lower income nations, most people with these diseases are of working age, which can leave families destitute and harm development.
The MRC Epidemiology Unit is playing its part in addressing this challenge through its coordination of the Global Diet and Activity Research Group and Network (GDAR). This is a partnership between the Unit and researchers in Kenya, Cameroon, South Africa and the Caribbean, funded through the NIHR Global Health Research initiative.
The Global Burden of Disease study, which tracked trends in consumption of 15 dietary factors from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries, and is now published in The Lancet, finds that people in almost every region of the world could benefit from rebalancing their diets to eat optimal amounts of various foods and nutrients.
The study estimates that one in five deaths globally – equivalent to 11 million deaths – are associated with poor diet, and diet contributes to a range of chronic diseases in people around the world. In 2017, more deaths were caused by diets with too low amounts of foods such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds than by diets with high levels of foods like trans fats, sugary drinks, and high levels of red and processed meats.