Action is required urgently to reduce the incidence and impact of chronic diseases, and must address the underlying risk factors and determinants. There is a critical need for a national prevention agenda.
We support a set of core principles that provide a common platform for interventions to prevent chronic diseases:
- A systemic approach—focussing on common risk factors and determinants.
- Evidence-based action—acting now, using best available evidence, and continuing to build evidence.
- Tackling health inequity and health disparity—working to improve and redress inequities and disparities in access to programs, services and inequities in outcomes.
- A national agenda with local action—building commitment and innovation with local and community-level actions.
- A life course approach—intervening early and exploiting prevention opportunities at all ages and across generations.
- Shared responsibility—encouraging complementary actions by all groups.
- Responsible partnerships—avoiding ceding policy influence to vested interests.
We propose the development and implementation of chronic disease targets and indicators as important elements of accountability for prevention. Monitoring and public reporting on the targets and indicators will support the successful implementation of preventive interventions.
The benefits of reducing the incidence and impact of chronic diseases are nationally significant. They extend beyond the impact on the health of individuals to our children’s future, the wellbeing of the communities in which we live, and the economic prosperity of our society.