Publications from International Organizations on Public Health



Edited by Anna Maria Rossi




Proven recipes for risk communications. Parma: European Food Safety Authority. 2015, 60 p. (RISK Communication Guidelines) The objective of these guidelines is to provide a framework to assist decision-making about appropriate communications approaches in a wide variety of situations that can occur when assessing and communicating on risks related to food safety in Europe. The aim is to provide a common framework applicable for developing communications approaches on risk across public health authorities in different countries. Rather than issuing a generic guidebook on risk communication, this document provides specific information for all interested parties with respect to food safety, risk assessment methods and the tasks of the EFSA.

Scientific Opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in foodstuffs. EFSA Journal 2015;13(1):3978 doi:10.2903/j. efsa.2015.3978 This opinion describes the assessment of the risks to public health associated with bisphenol A (BPA) exposure. Exposure was assessed for various groups of the human population in three different ways: (1) external (by diet, drinking water, inhalation, and dermal contact to cosmetics and thermal paper); (2) internal exposure to total BPA (absorbed dose of BPA, sum of conjugated and unconjugated BPA); and (3) aggregated (from diet, dust, cosmetics and thermal paper), expressed as oral human equivalent dose (HED) referring to unconjugated BPA only. Biomonitoring data were in line with estimated internal exposure to total BPA from all sources. The EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) concluded that there is no health concern for any age group from dietary exposure and low health concern from aggregated exposure. It also noted considerable uncertainty in the exposure estimates for non-dietary sources, whilst the uncertainty around dietary estimates was relatively low.

Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for magnesium. EFSA Journal 2015;13(7):4186 (63 p.) doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4186 Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) derived Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for magnesium. The Panel considers that Average Requirements (ARs) and Population Reference Intakes (PRIs) for magnesium cannot be derived for adults, infants or children, and therefore defines Adequate Intakes (AIs), based on observed intakes in healthy populations in the European Union (EU). This approach considers the range of average magnesium intakes estimated by EFSA from dietary surveys in children and adults in nine EU countries. For pregnant and lactating women, the Panel considers that there is no evidence for an increased need for magnesium, and the same AI is set for them as for non-pregnant, non-lactating women.



Elbehri, A. The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) 2015. Meeting the 2015 international hunger targets: taking stock of uneven progress. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2015, 357 p. FAO number: I4332 This book collects the findings of a group of scientists and economists who have taken stock of climate change impacts on food and agriculture at global and regional levels over the past two decades. The evidence presented describes how global warming will impact where and how food is produced and discusses the significant consequences for food security, health and nutrition, water scarcity and climate adaptation. The book also highlights the implications for global food trade. The evidence presented in the book is presented in a way that is widely accessible to policy decision makers and practitioners and makes a distinct contribution towards a greater science-policy interchange. Put together, the different analyses in the book paint a comprehensive perspective linking climate change to food, nutrition, water, and trade along with suggested policy responses.

Regional overview of food insecurity Europe and Central Asia. Focus on healthy and balanced nutrition. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2015, 24 p. FAO number: I4649 As a region, Europe and Central Asia has achieved the Millennium Development Goal hunger target of reducing by half the proportion of people affected by hunger. Progress on reducing the incidence of hunger differs from country to country, with the Central Asian countries having the most difficulty. Despite positive trends in food security, child malnutrition continues to be a problem in the region - in both rich and poor countries. This can be seen in relatively high rates of stunting in the Caucasus and Central Asian countries, and alarming levels of anaemia in children under 5 in several countries. Overweight and obesity are an increasing nutrition, health and budgetary issue in the region. Child overweight rates are double those for the developing world. Countries across the region differ in their strategies for ensuring food security.



How AIDS changed everything - MDG6: 15 years, 15 lessons of hope from the AIDS response. Geneva: UNAIDS 2015; 548 p. Fifteen years ago, AIDS was shattering families, communities and entire nations. But the AIDS epidemic also united the world behind efforts to stop and reverse the toll, and to ensure that people everywhere have access to life-saving medicines. The world has achieved the AIDS targets of Millennium Development Goal 6: the epidemic has been halted and reversed. In the year 2000, fewer than 700,000 people were receiving antiretroviral medicines; today, some 15 million people have access, meaning that we have reached one of the most important treatment goals in history. Over that same period, new HIV infections have declined by 35%. Today there are 58% fewer new HIV infections among children than there were 15 years ago. Indeed, a new objective is now before us: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Women living with HIV speak out against violence. A collection of essays and reflections of women living with and affected by HIV. Geneva: UNAIDS 2015; 84 p. Violence against women and girls is an unacceptable violation of basic human rights. It also is so widespread that ending it must be a global public health priority. An estimated one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner during her lifetime. Intimate partner violence has been shown to increase the risk of HIV infection by around 50%, and violence (and the fear of violence) deters women and girls from seeking services for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Achieving zero tolerance for violence against women and girls is one of the main priorities for UNAIDS, because until that happens, we will never see the end of the AIDS epidemic. This collection of essays by women living with and affected by HIV sheds light on the experiences of women living with HIV in overcoming and addressing violence against women. Some of the contributors acquired HIV through the violence they experienced. Others have faced violence because they are living with HIV, violence that was perpetrated not only by their family members and intimate partners, but also by those with a duty of care towards them - groups such as the police and other agents of the state, including health-care professionals. While some of the contributions are personal testimony, all of them are informed in some way by personal experience. Women themselves have stepped up and organized. They have built care and support networks, conducted research, campaigned and demanded their right to a life of dignity and respect.



WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme). The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015: Water for a sustainable world. Paris: UNESCO. 2015, 139 p. ISBN 978 92 3100 071 3. The WWDR 2015 hopes to be a visionary report that recognizes challenges but gives a positive, solutions-oriented picture on the role (actual and potential) of the decisions affecting water in achieving sustainable development over the next 15-30 years. The report's organizing principle, 'water for a sustainable world' provides a focused descriptive analysis that demonstrates how water can be a key factor in a future sustainable world. Taking account of economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability, a forward-looking narrative describes how major challenges and change factors in the modern world will affect - and can be affected by - water resources, services and related benefits in a not too distant future.

Solinís G. (Ed.) Global bioethics: what for? Paris: UNESCO. 2015, 139 p. ISBN 978 92 3100 061 4 Within the framework of the 20th anniversary of UNESCO's Bioethics programme, this book aims at presenting the salient achievements of bioethics at UNESCO as well as discussing the most urgent challenges that could be addressed in the future. This publication presents critical and creative ideas for UNESCO's work in this field written by 30 international experts as a first step in launching a discussion around future actions and in view of informing a new programme rationale to be developed in the coming years.



World report on ageing and health. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2015, 260 p. ISBN 978 92 415 6504 2 Comprehensive public health action on population ageing is urgently needed. This will require fundamental shifts, not just in the things we do, but in how we think about ageing itself. The World report on ageing and health outlines a framework for action to foster healthy ageing built around the new concept of functional ability. Making these investments will have valuable social and economic returns, both in terms of health and wellbeing of older people and in enabling their on-going participation in society.

Beyond bias: exploring the cultural contexts of health and well-being measurement. First Meeting of the Expert Group Cultural contexts of health and well-being, no. 1. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2015, 33 p. $ 24.00 ISBN 978 92 890 5100 2 Order no. 13400163 The WHO Regional Office for Europe convened the first expert group on the cultural contexts of health and well-being in January 2015. When adopting Health 2020, the European policy for health and well-being, WHO Member States agreed to a framework for measuring and reporting on objective and subjective well-being. This work still faces practical challenges, particularly with respect to the influence of cultural factors on well-being and well-being measurement. The Regional Office asked the expert group to advise on how to consider the impact of culture on health and well-being, and how to communicate findings from data on well-being across such a culturally diverse region as Europe. This report outlines the expert group's detailed recommendations on each of these objectives.

Sexual health, human rights and the law. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2015, 72 p. $ 18.00 ISBN 978 92 415 6498 4 Order no. 19300326 This report demonstrates the relationship between sexual health, human rights and the law. Drawing from a review of public health evidence and extensive research into human rights law at international, regional and national levels, the report shows how states in different parts of the world can and do support sexual health through legal and other mechanisms that are consistent with human rights standards and their own human rights obligations.

Istituto Superiore di Sanità Roma - Rome - Italy