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World News June 13, 2024

Europe’s biggest killers: Tobacco, alcohol, processed food and fossil fuels

The World Health Organization (WHO) has attributed 2.7 million annual deaths in Europe to four major industries: tobacco, ultra-processed foods (UPFs), fossil fuels, and alcohol. Hans Kluge, director of WHO’s Europe region, highlighted that these industries are responsible for at least 7,000 deaths daily. The WHO’s report accuses these sectors of consolidating into a few powerful multinationals that obstruct public policies detrimental to their profits by exploiting vulnerable populations, misleading consumers, and making false claims about their products.

These tactics undermine public health achievements and hinder countries from meeting health targets, especially in combating non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. WHO data shows that nearly 60% of adults and one-third of children in Europe are overweight or obese, with one in five deaths from cardiovascular disease and cancer linked to poor diet.

The WHO called for stronger regulations to counteract unhealthy product marketing, monopolistic practices, and industry lobbying, emphasizing that public health should take precedence over profits.

Source – CGTN

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