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Today, non communicable diseases (NCDs), specifically diabetes, heart disease/hypertension, chronic respiratory disease and cancer, are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide and account for 75% of all deaths in the region of the Americas. The risk factors for these NCDs are associated with behaviors that are established during adolescence, including 1) harmful use of alcohol, 2) tobacco use, 3) sedentary lifestyle, and 4) an unhealthy diet. Simply put, during adolescence and young adulthood, individuals are making choices that will affect their future lifestyle—as well as their future health status, health care costs, and longevity. These choices are profoundly shaped by the social and physical environment, and the way we live, learn, play and work.

On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at 1:15 PM EST during the 45th Session of the Commission on Population and Development United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC), PAHO  hosted the panel "Laying the Foundation for Healthy and Productive Living: Prevention of Non Communicable Diseases in Adolescents and Youth" at the Turkish Center, 821 First Avenue, New York City.

Panelists included:

  • Ms Jane Ferguson, Senior Adviser, Adolescent Health, World Health Organization
  • Dr. Matilde Maddaleno, Senior Advisor, Adolescent Health, Pan American Health Organization
  • Ms Michelle Davis, PhD, Regional Health Administrator for New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Dr. María Cristina Escobar, Head of Department of Non Communicable Diseases at the Chilean Ministry of Health
  • Ms Krystal Boyea, Youth Ambassador, North America & the Caribbean, International Diabetes Federation
  • Dr. Robert Blum, William H. Gates, Senior Professor & Chair, Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

More information available here.

Preventing non-communicable diseases in adolescents and young adults 

Forty-fifth session of ECOSOC

Side events of ECOSOC 

Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 09:11

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