17 (Mon) August 2015
NCD Risk Factors
at WPRO Cafeteria
with various colleagues
In the Western Pacific Region, the four major noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) — cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic respiratory disease — account for 80% of all deaths. 80%.
Unhealthy diet — the overconsumption of food and beverages that are high in sugar, salt, and fat — is a prime risk factor for NCDs.
Our division, which handles NCDs, has issued guidelines on the types of food and beverages that the Regional Office is recommended to serve, and not serve, at our official functions (e.g., alcohol, another NCD risk factor, is a no-no).
In practice, however, we end up eating a lot of crap, nutritionally speaking (see most recently 6.127 Shrimp Spring Rolls). The problem is that the ordering is typically left to the secretaries, all Filipina, adamant adherents to certain cultural beliefs about cooking, such as the virtue of deep-frying.
Come to think of it, my supervisor, Korean, literally carries kimchi around with her, even though she’s the team leader for NCDs, salt reduction being a priority programme.
Incidentally, this evening was the welcome reception for our division’s annual network meeting, which is why the spread seemed especially ironic.