One impact of socioeconomic progress on populations has been to reduce the number of cases due to diseases of undernutrition and microbial contamination of food, which affected mostly infants and young children, and to increase those due to diseases of excessive food consumption, which are affecting adults and a growing number of children. This article reviews the main dietary factors which have an influence on cardiovascular disease and cancer, and discusses the link between economic development and increased rates of chronic diseases. There is evidence that the noncommunicable diseases and their risk factors have risen rapidly in countries of the WHO Western Pacific Region. Data from 29 countries and areas in the region indicate that 70% of them show lifestyle diseases in three or more of the top five causes of death. While public health measures have been implemented by some countries to prevent and control nutrition-related chronic diseases, further action is needed
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