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A Survey of Macro Damages from Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases: Another Challenge for Global Governance

  • Mayer-Foulkes David A



Non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) are currently the largest global cause of adult mortality, one of the principal burdens of disease in developed and underdeveloped countries. Their main causes are well known, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol. The prevalence of these risk factors is directly related to the activities of transnational corporations (TNCs). For example, just the TNC budgets dedicated to advertising risky consumption are larger than the budget of the World Health Organization.A literature survey shows that NCDs have important long-term macroeconomic impacts, whose detailed evaluation has only just begun. The sheer burden on the working and aged population implies strong impacts on labor, saving and investment, as well as increased human capital depreciation. These will all impact long-term economic growth. It is a research priority to quantify these impacts. However, in the context of globalization, NCD is developing faster than its rigorous analysis.Research results show that what is needed is preventive action. This requires a global institutional framework capable of controlling NCD risk factors, which can also promote health and economic growth in general. Developing legal mechanisms to slow the negative impact of the deficient nutrition transition would be a step in that direction. Global markets need to be balanced with global governance holding TNCs responsible for their impact, promoting cooperative solutions when available, and taxing them so that they carry their fair share of social weight.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Global Economy Journal.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-27

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:6
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