Intersectoral Action for Addressing NCDs through the Food Environment: An Analysis of NCD Framing in Global Policies and Its Relevance for the African Context.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2021 ; 18: .
DOI : 10.3390/ijerph182111246
PubMed ID : 34769763
PMCID : PMC8582825
Noncommunicable diseases contribute the greatest to global mortality. Unhealthy diet-a prominent risk factor-is intricately linked to urban built and food environments and requires intersectoral efforts to address. Framings of the noncommunicable disease problem and proposed solutions within global and African regional diet-related policy documents can reveal how amenable the policy landscape is for supporting intersectoral action for health in low-income to middle-income countries. This study applied a document analysis approach to undertake policy analysis on global and African regional policies related to noncommunicable disease and diet. A total of 62 global and 29 African regional policy documents were analysed. Three problem frames relating to noncommunicable disease and diet were identified at the global and regional level, namely evidence-based, development, and socioeconomic frames. Health promotion, intersectoral and multisectoral action, and evidence-based monitoring and assessment underpinned proposed interventions to improve education and awareness, support structural changes, and improve disease surveillance and monitoring. African policies insufficiently considered associations between food security and noncommunicable disease. In order to effectively address the noncommunicable disease burden, a paradigm shift from 'health for development' to 'development for health' is required across non-health sectors. Noncommunicable disease considerations should be included within African food security agendas, using malnutrition as a possible intermediary concept to motivate intersectoral action to improve access to nutritious food in African low-income to middle-income countries.