The role of law and human rights in promoting healthy diets to prevent NCDs: the experience of East Africa
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Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology - Karen Campus, School of Law Kenya
Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health, The Netherlands
International Development Law Organization (IDLO), Italy
Makerere University Uganda
Groningen Centre for Health Law Netherlands
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1571
Despite its adoption by the World Health Assembly in 2010, no country has comprehensively implemented the WHO set of Recommendations on the Marketing of Foods and Non-Alcoholic Beverages to Children. Furthermore, although some 50 countries apply fiscal policies to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), the measures are sometimes formulated in ways that some products with high sugar content are not covered by the regulations. Nutrition labelling is implemented by many countries in all regions, however not all have mandatory nutrient declarations in line with Codex guidelines, and national food labelling standards. Moreover, few countries have embarked on front-of-pack labelling. Reformulation of food products to contain less salt, salt and oil is becoming increasingly common, but most often it is voluntary rather than mandatory. Many countries lack the technical capacity and political will to introduce appropriate regulatory and fiscal measures to address NCD risk factors.

This workshop will examine the role of the law in promoting healthy diets from three perspectives. First, state obligations under international law will be examined. Second, the experience of a legal and public health capacity-building project in three countries in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) will be presented. Third, the recent experience of one country (Uganda) will be discussed.

Key Questionsa:
What is the role of international law in addressing the risk factors for noncommunicable diseases, notably unhealthy diets? How is law relevant to advancing the right to health in low and middle-income countries? How can civil society organizations participate in developing policies to address NCDs? How can human rights-based approaches be applied in practice to NCD prevention?

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