International Conference: “Obesity Crisis in Southeast Asia: Issues, Challenges, and Policy Pathways”

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  • 2017•01•17     Kuala Lumpur

    *Selection of abstracts is in process. The outcome will known by mid March. Thank you for your patience.


    Call for Abstracts

    International Conference: “Obesity Crisis in Southeast Asia: Issues, Challenges, and Policy Pathways”

    May 17-18 2017, UNU-IIGH, UKM Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    The mortality and morbidity burdens of non-communicable diseases constitute a major public health burden that undermines the social and economic development especially in Low- and Middle-income countries. In its Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, 2013-2020, the World Health Organization stated that, “an estimated 36 million deaths, or 63% of the 57 million deaths that occurred globally in 2008, were due to noncommunicable diseases, comprising mainly cardiovascular diseases (48% of noncommunicable diseases), cancers (21%), chronic respiratory diseases (12%) and diabetes (3.5%). These noncommunicable diseases share four behavioural risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol”. Of these risk factors, diet and nutrition are critically important factors in the promotion and maintenance of good health throughout the entire life course.

    As observed by WHO, “although morbidity and mortality from noncommunicable diseases mainly occur in adulthood, exposure to risk factors begins in early life”. Children are vulnerable to death from treatable noncommunicable diseases (such as rheumatic heart disease, type 1 diabetes, asthma and leukaemia “if health promotion, disease prevention and comprehensive care are not provided”. The Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity developed a set of recommendations to tackle childhood and adolescent obesity in different contexts around the world.

    The United Nations University-International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) will convene an international conference to address the issues, challenges and policy pathways for obesity in Southeast Asia, a region that is characterized and shaped by rapid economic growth among the middle-income countries, and disparities between these countries and the less developed countries in the region. As economic development accelerates in the region, globalization becomes a key factor that drives the marketing of unsafe food and unhealthy lifestyles. We are interested in abstracts of papers that explore any of the following thematic issues in the prevention and control of obesity in Southeast Asia:

    • trade, investment, and globalization as drivers of NCD (obesity)
    • the potential and limits of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as tools for prevention and control of obesity
    • the relevance of norms and governance mechanisms (including the human right to health; right to food)
    • challenges for implementing the recommendations of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, the WHO Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, and the Rome Declaration of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)
    • policy challenges of managing food taxes and subsidies to promote healthy diet
    • implementing public awareness programmes, health education/promotion and strategies to achieve non-binding targets (e.g. voluntary target of 30% reduction of salt/sodium intake; replacing saturated with unsaturated fat, etc)
    • engaging the private sector (food industry), civil society, and professional bodies, and challenges in building public-private partnerships for healthy diet and nutrition
    • bilateral and regional cooperation within the ASEAN region

    Deadline for Submission of Abstracts:

    Researchers interested in presenting papers at the conference are invited to send a summary/abstract of their papers in no more than 500 words together with a one page Resume to the following Email address: on or before 25 February 2017. UNU-IIGH shall inform all interested researchers of the status of their abstracts by 1 March 2017. Priority will be given to abstracts of papers that explore the challenges of implementing (global, regional, national) policies aimed at prevention and control of obesity regionally or in any of the ASEAN countries. UNU-IIGH plans to publish papers presented at the conference in an Edited Book or Special Issue of a scholarly journal subject to a successful peer review.

    Any inquiries concerning the conference should be addressed to this Email: