Helping people around the world reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes is the goal of the partnership.

WHO, IOC Sign Healthy Activity Pact

Helping people around the world reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes is the goal of their partnership.

The World Health Organization and the International Olympic Committee signed a memorandum of understanding in Lausanne, Switzerland on July 21 in which they promise to work in concert for healthy lifestyle choices -- physical activity, tobacco-free Olympic Games, and prevention of childhood obesity. They said they will work internationally and at a country level to help people reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.

"This agreement with the International Olympic Committee will help increase our ability and reach in addressing the diseases which are the leading causes of death around the world," said WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan. "Tackling these diseases is one of the major challenges for sustainable development in the 21st Century."

"The IOC and the WHO are both eager to promote healthy lifestyles and grassroots sports activities worldwide, and today's agreement is an important step to better form synergies between our various initiatives in this field," said IOC President Jacques Rogge. "It is about acting in concert to get everybody moving and thus reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases across all age groups."

WHO says noncommunicable disease deaths are increasing in every region of the world. If trends continue as they are now, deaths will rise to an estimated 41.2 million per year by 2015.

ILO and WHO agreed to create a group to meet at least annually to maintain a program of international cooperation.

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