WHO Report Blames Four Major Industries for 2.7 Million Deaths Annually in Europe

A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) has accused four major industries – tobacco, ultra-processed foods (UPFs), fossil fuels, and alcohol – of obstructing public policies that could save lives, leading to at least 7,000 preventable deaths per day in the WHO’s European region, Arab news reported today.

The report, titled “Commercial Determinants of Noncommunicable Diseases in the WHO European Region,” claims these industries employ tactics like exploiting vulnerable populations, misleading consumers, and making false claims to protect their profit margins. This is hindering efforts to tackle the rise of noncommunicable diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes across Europe.

“People must take precedence before profit, always,” said WHO Europe Director Hans Kluge. Almost 60% of adults and a third of children in Europe are overweight or obese, and the WHO estimates one in five cardiovascular and cancer deaths in the region are linked to unhealthy diets.

The WHO is urging countries to strengthen regulations on marketing of unhealthy products, monopolistic practices, and industry lobbying. “These tactics threaten public health gains of the past century and prevent countries from reaching their health targets,” the report states.

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