Diet and nutrition is an issue which is continuing to dominate the agendas of media, governments, NGOs and food and drink industries around the world. Whilst there are many different complex dietary and nutritional considerations across countries and regions, according to the World Health Organization, people of all age groups, regions and countries are today affected by Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). In fact, it estimates the NCDs kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally (8).

Noncommunicable – or chronic – diseases are described as being diseases of long duration and generally slow progression and, according to the World Health Organization, tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets are factors which increase the risk of dying from an NCD.

In this section, we take a look at some of the main noncommunicable diseases including obesity, diabetes and malnutrition. We also look at the importance of dental health in preventing oral diseases, the most common noncommunicable diseases which affect people throughout their lifetime (9).