Australia to join UN meeting on cancer and obesity

AUSTRALIA will have a seat at the table when the United Nations General Assembly meets to discuss the US$47 trillion challenge of non-communicable diseases in New York this week.

The High-Level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases is just the second time the assembly has met specifically to discuss health issues, reflecting the challenge posed by diseases like cancer and diabetes, which a recent report estimated would cost about 4% of the world’s GDP over the next 20 years.

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the meeting was an important opportunity for Australia to share the challenges faced in legislating plain tobacco packaging and to help “stem the tide of obesity”.

“I trust this UN meeting sees other countries around the world join Australia in staring down the misleading and intimidating tactics of big tobacco,” she said.

“The waistlines of the world are expanding quickly, and this