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Health Behaviour Change

Date and Location




Sunday 22 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00


Ian Shemilt

Gaston Godin
John Spence
Theresa Marteau
Elizabeth Waters

Abstract text
In 2008, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) caused 36 million (63%) of global deaths. A large proportion of NCD deaths occur prematurely, imposing large and avoidable costs in human, social and economic terms.Tobacco smoking, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and low levels of physical activity are common behavioural factors in the aetiology of the most prevalent and preventable NCDs, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, certain types of cancers and chronic respiratory diseases.Consequently, four of the five priority areas for intervention proposed by the Lancet NCD Action Group and the NCD Alliance (i.e. tobacco control, reduction of hazardous alcohol intake, salt reduction, improved diets and physical activity) and the UN Draft Political Declaration of the High Level Meeting on the prevention and control of NCDs target these four areas of health behaviour. Changing patterns of health behaviour to reduce the prevalence and burden of NCDs is therefore one of the most important global health challenges of the 21st Century. Correspondingly, the production and synthesis of reliable evidence on interventions to promote effective and efficient health behaviour change are major global challenges for the next 20 years of better knowledge for better health. This Special Session on Health Behaviour Change will aim to promote shared understanding of priority questions that need to be addressed to build the evidence base for interventions and policies to change people’s health behaviour at individual- and population-levels,and galvanise regional and international efforts to tackle them through primary research, systematic reviews and related evidence synthesis activities. Target audience and level of expertise: • Researchers interested in supporting evidence-informed policymaking, as well as health system policymakers and stakeholders • No past experience needed