Title: Dietary strategies to reduce the burden of cancer and cardiovascular disease in the UK.
Key words: socio-economic, diet, dietary interventions, non-communicable diseases, functional foods, biomedical research
Date: Jan 2002
Category: Special diets
Author: Mathers JC
Dietary strategies to reduce the burden of cancer and cardiovascular disease in the UK.
Dietary change as a means of helping to achieve the major goals of the UK's public health policy was articulated in the Health of the Nation White paper (Department of Health, 1992).
The importance attributed to this is less apparent in the most recent strategy document (Department of Health, 1999). Here, greater emphasis is given to amelioration of the socio-economic circumstances that are believed to contribute to inequalities in health. Better understanding of the elements of foods and diets which help protect health together with better evidence of effective dietary interventions are essential if the opportunities to use diet to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases are to be realised.
This is likely to need new research strategies that take advantage of emerging information from genomics and proteomics to produce evidence of safety, efficacy and applicability. Ethical exploitation of the rapid growth in interest in 'functional foods' by the food industry will require a level of investment in biomedical research unusual in the past.
Mathers JC. Br J Nutr 2000 Dec;84 Suppl 2:S211-6