WHO, WHO urges global action to curtail consumption and health impacts of sugary drinks, action

WHO urges global action to curtail consumption and health impacts of sugary drinks

11 October 2016 | GENEVA – Taxing sugary drinks can lower consumption and reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay, says a new WHO report.

Fiscal policies that lead to at least a 20% increase in the retail price of sugary drinks would result in proportional reductions in consumption of such products, according to the report titled “Fiscal policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)”.

Reduced consumption of sugary drinks means lower intake of “free sugars” and calories overall, improved nutrition and fewer people suffering from overweight, obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose or fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices, and fruit juice concentrates.

Obesity on the rise

“Consumption of free sugars, including products like sugary drinks, is a major factor in the global increase of people suffering from obesity and diabetes,” says Dr Douglas Bettcher, Director of WHO’s Department for the Prevention of NCDs. “If governments tax products like sugary drinks, they can reduce suffering and save lives. They can also cut healthcare costs and increase revenues to invest in health services.”

In 2014, more than 1 in 3 (39%) adults worldwide aged 18 years and older were overweight. Worldwide prevalence of obesity more than doubled between 1980 and 2014, with 11% of men and 15% of women (more than half a billion adults) being classified as obese.

In addition, an estimated 42 million children aged under 5 years were overweight or obese in 2015, an increase of about 11 million during the past 15 years. Almost half (48%) of these children lived in Asia and 25% in Africa.

The number of people living with diabetes has also been rising, from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The disease was directly responsible for 1.5 million deaths in 2012 alone.

Need to reduce sugar intake

“Nutritionally, people don’t need any sugar in their diet. WHO recommends that if people do consume free sugars, they keep their intake below 10% of their total energy needs, and reduce it to less than 5% for additional health benefits. This is equivalent to less than a single serving (at least 250 ml) of commonly consumed sugary drinks per day,” says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.

According to the new WHO report, national dietary surveys indicate that drinks and foods high in free sugars can be a major source of unnecessary calories in people’s diets, particularly in the case of children, adolescents and young adults.

It also points out that some groups, including people living on low incomes, young people and those who frequently consume unhealthy foods and beverages, are most responsive to changes in prices of drinks and foods and, therefore, gain the highest health benefits.

Using fiscal policies to reduce consumption

Fiscal policies should target foods and beverages for which healthier alternatives are available, the report adds.

The report presents outcomes of a mid-2015 meeting of global experts convened by WHO and an investigation of 11 recent systematic reviews of the effectiveness of fiscal policy interventions for improving diets and preventing NCDs and a technical meeting of global experts. Other findings include:

  • Subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables that reduce prices by 10–30% can increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
  • Taxation of certain foods and drinks, particularly those high in saturated fats, trans fat, free sugars and/or salt appears promising, with existing evidence clearly showing that increases in the prices of such products reduces their consumption.
  • Excise taxes, such as those used on tobacco products, that apply a set (specific) amount of tax on a given quantity or volume of the product, or particular ingredient, are likely to be more effective than sales or other taxes based on a percentage of the retail price.
  • Public support for such tax increases could be increased if the revenue they generate is earmarked for efforts to improve health systems, encourage healthier diets and increase physical activity.

A number of countries have taken fiscal measures to protect people from unhealthy products. These include Mexico, which has implemented an excise tax on non-alcoholic beverages with added sugar, and Hungary, which has imposed a tax on packaged products with high sugars, salt or caffeine levels.

Countries, such as the Philippines, South Africa and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have also announced intentions to implement taxes on sugary drinks.

Notes to editors:

As part of comprehensive policy measures to improve health, WHO calls on governments to use fiscal measures in its “Global Action Plan on the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013–2020”, the “Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal , Infant and Young Child Nutrition” and more recently by the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity.

In 2012, 38 million people lost their lives due to NCDs, 16 million or 42% of whom died prematurely – before 70 years – from largely avoidable conditions. More than 80% of people who died prematurely from a NCD were in developing countries. Governments had committed to reduce deaths from NCDs, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda includes a target to reduce premature deaths from diabetes, cancers, heart, and lung diseases by one-third by 2030.

At the Second International Conference on Nutrition in 2014, governments committed to reshape food systems, and this is the main goal of the recently declared UN Decade of Action of Nutrition 2016-2025.

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    Auto Insurance Claims Information, insurance claims processing.#Insurance #claims #processing

    Insurance Claims

    Because the moments following a car accident can be stressful and filled with distractions, it’s important to understand how your insurance company handles auto insurance claims before you’re involved in an accident.

    We’ve compiled information related all types of auto insurance claims, including bodily and personal injury claims, accident claims involving property damage, and how to tell the difference between a routine insurance claim and one for which you might need legal assistance. Understanding these factors before an auto accident means you can take the proper steps to document and report every kind of injury and accident loss, thus increasing your chances of being fairly and swiftly compensated.

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    IHCFA Claims Processing, Home, insurance claims processing.#Insurance #claims #processing

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    iHCFA Well Positioned to Support New Jersey s EDI Law for Electronic Filing of Medical Bills for Worker s Compensation Claims

    Morristown, NJ. (November 14, 2016) – iHCFA, LLC an industry leading clearinghouse, specializing in the electronic processing of Workers Compensation and Automobile bills, announced today that it is poised to support healthcare Providers and insurance payors in implementing the new S-2136 Electronic Data Interface (EDI) bill signed into law today by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

    The new law requires all Workers Compensation, Third Party Administrators and Employers who receive medical bills to accept the bills and their medical reports electronically. All healthcare Providers and Hospitals that submit over twenty-five (25) bills per month are also required to submit their bills and medical reports electronically. The Department of Banking and Insurance will utilize the national standard ASC X-12 electronic data exchange protocols found in all modern billing systems.

    Company President, Dr. William J. DeGasperis, stated, this law moves New Jersey into the 21 st century and will result in lower costs, greater accountability, productivity and a better working relationship between the Provider and insurance payor. iHCFA is uniquely positioned to help clients comply with this new law because of our ability to connect to any medical billing system and link to more than 1,000 insurance payors and third-party administrators, said DeGasperis.

    The benefit for healthcare providers managing their revenue cycles through e-billing, besides faster payment, is the increased efficiency of direct point to point communication between the insurance carrier and the Provider billing system. The elimination of lost bills and an overall reduction in administrative costs and burdens results in a more effective, efficient process. Providers currently submit over 95% of all Medicare, Medicaid and healthcare bills electronically yet submit only 10% of all Workers Compensation and Auto bills. Payors receive faster notification of claims through the e-billing process, more accurate and complete first-time bills and medical documents, better communication and a significant reduction in paper and mail room processing. These all lead to decreased costs and eliminate reliance on antiquated manual processing.

    iHCFA, a New Jersey based clearinghouse, specializes in electronically processing Workers Compensation and Automobile bills with all supporting documents. iHCFA is an industry leader with the ability to connect to any medical billing system and link to more than 1,000 insurance payors and third-party administrators in all 50 states. iHCFA users can access a web based system to perform bill validation, review processing status including acceptance or rejection and payment notifications.

    Medical Claims Processing, Apex EDI Billing Clearinghouse, insurance claims processing.#Insurance #claims #processing

    Medical Claims Processing

    Stop sending claims the old-fashioned way. We ll save you time and money!

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    The U.S. recently faced back-to- back major hurricanes. Texas and Florida h

    Thousands of practices use our products and services to increase productivity and improve patient care.

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    Claims, TOPA Insurance, insurance claims processing.#Insurance #claims #processing

    Insurance claims processing

    Topa Insurance Company recognizes that it is essential to know you can rely on your insurance company to be there in your time of need. With our committed and experienced staff of Claims professionals, we aim to provide efficient, fair, quality claims service that will exceed the expectations of our valued Topa policyholders.

    If you or another Topa Insured:

    • Become aware of an accident or incident causing damages or injuries
    • Participate in an event or occurrence which may lead to a covered claim
    • Receive verbal or written notice that a claim may be made against you

    Act immediately and do the following:

    • Get all the details including names, addresses and phone numbers of all parties involved
    • Record the date, time and place of occurrence and the nature of the claim
    • Preserve and safeguard any physical evidence
    • Do not make any commitments or attempt to handle the claim yourself
    • Contact Topa Express Claims Reporting immediately
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      Toll Free: 877.353.8672

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      Call and speak to a Topa Claims Manager if you have any concerns or questions

      Your quick response in identifying and reporting claims promptly will assist our staff in meeting their commitment to you and can positively impact the final results. Please review your policy and become familiar with the protection it provides. For questions regarding coverage, please contact your retail agent through whom you acquired your policy.

      Report a claim

      In an effort to expedite the processing of your claim, please email [email protected] with the following:

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      Report Fraud

      Topa Insurance Company is committed to providing quality insurance products along with outstanding service at reasonable prices. Insurance Fraud increases costs for everyone and, in some cases, can put you, your family and friends at risk. As part of our commitment to combating fraud, we maintain an active Special Investigation Unit (SIU) and support the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) .

      We encourage you to join us in this anti-fraud effort by reporting any suspicious, counterfeit, or inflated claims. This can be done anonymously simply by calling 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422) or by reporting online at

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    How to Sell As Is, Where Is, eqc claims.#Eqc #claims

    How to sell As Is

    One of the team will visit your property

    If the offer is acceptable for both parties, we draft a Sale and Purchase Agreement

    Move on with your life!

    Arete Property was born in 2014 when a group of 5 friends decided to combine expertise to purchase and repair ‘As Is Where Is’ property in Christchurch. An eclectic group with a cross-section of expertise ranging from building to investing, we pride ourselves on our professional, honest and flexible approach to helping people sell their damaged or uninsured property. We have also taken over insurance and EQC claims from those who no longer want to fight the fight.

    We pay market rates, which saves expensive real estate fees for our customers and we listen. Flexible settlements, long settlements, quick settlements whichever suits your situation, we can work with almost any request! Feel free to give us a call or drop us an e-mail to find out more.

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    What Our Customers Are Saying

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    What does Arete Property do after they purchase my ‘As Is’ house?

    We repair all of our properties to a very high standard. Some properties are held as rentals, some are sold on the open market depending on suitability for sale or rental.

    Will you make me a cash unconditional offer?

    Others may offer cash unconditional but because we repair thoroughly we have to engage an engineer to qualify we can repair the dwelling. This translates to a 10-20 day due diligence clause which often equates to a better price for you as we can confirm that our repair methodology is viable.

    How long will it take for someone to come and view my property and make me an offer?

    We can usually get to your property within 24 hours and turn an offer around in 24-48 hours depending on the property, some are harder than others!

    If I choose a long settlement but then find a house I really want to buy, can you bring settlement forward?

    Yes. We are very flexible with settlement dates and we often add ‘or earlier by mutual agreement’ to all contracts, giving you plenty of time to find a new property.

    Home, Quantum Claims, injury claims.#Injury #claims

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  • Hostage Taking Is China – s Small-Claims Court – Foreign Policy, small claims court washington.#Small

    Hostage Taking Is China s Small-Claims Court

    Small claims court washington

    When dozens of men stormed the Shanghai branch of USGFX, an Australian foreign currency trading firm, in July, the employees were terrified. Held hostage as assailants sealed the exits, the 20 employees — all Chinese — had their phones seized and only got food and water after they begged for sustenance. While 17 of the staff were freed within 24 hours, the remaining three were held for five days.

    But despite the hostage drama, there were no SWAT vans at the premises, nor did local media show any interest. The company tried in vain to get the police involved, with initial reports suggesting that up until the day the situation was resolved, the police presence was limited to a visit by a few — possibly just one — officers from the local economic crimes unit.

    In China, where it’s utterly unremarkable for one side to take hostages when financial disputes crop up, the story was no more interesting than a civil lawsuit. Given how reticent the authorities are to intervene, taking hostages is frequently seen as a better route than appealing to the courts. In fact, the courts are sympathetic to certain types of hostage taking: When debt is involved, the law considers it a lesser offense than taking hostages for ransom, and it is classed as “unlawful detention” instead. In practice, police often don’t even consider it to be an offense at all.

    In 2010, one government hospital even refused to hand over a newborn baby to his parents so they would pay up for the birth costs. The baby was kept in the hospital for more than three months.

    “Virtually all of the time, the police studiously seek to avoid getting involved,” said Dan Harris, a high-profile lawyer who specializes in Chinese law. “They see their job as maintaining social harmony.”

    “The most common reason, by far, for someone to get taken hostage is when their company allegedly owes money to a Chinese company. They are typically resolved by the foreign company paying every dollar allegedly owed,” he said. “I am not aware of any instance in which there has been a compromise. Sometimes, though, when a company pays enough, we can line up a team and free the hostage.”

    It makes a lot of sense for Chinese police to avoid getting involved in financial disputes, even when hostages are taken. One side of the dispute might be connected with a local government office or powerful business. Even if they’re not particularly powerful, they could launch protests, and the police might be blamed. It’s also fairly cheap and easy for one side to hire thugs, who may be better prepared for a fight than the police.

    But the police are also predisposed to see it as none of their business. Public security is broken into two areas: minshi and xingshi. Translated loosely, they can be considered civil and criminal issues, respectively. When it’s a financial dispute, rather than a hostage taken for ransom, police generally consider it more of a minshi issue and thus more in need of mediation than law enforcement, if it requires any police input at all. Debt kidnappings aren’t the only situation this applies to: Even in fights with quite serious injuries, the police often attempt to negotiate a payoff to the injured party instead of bringing charges.

    The theme of the wise official mediating among disputants has long been a staple of Chinese literature. In the modern context, the strangeness of the police’s dual role as social mediators and law enforcers has been noted by Fordham University professor Carl Minzner. Minzner attributes it to the authoritarian system’s top-down approach to dealing with tensions between citizens and the state and to the Chinese Communist Party’s refusal to allow the development of independent legal bodies that could deal with such disputes.

    Harris’s China Law Blog repeatedly stresses the risks of being taken hostage in China over debts. In many cases, the best move for foreigners facing such circumstances is simply to get out of the country before the thugs reach you.

    Often, precious little can be done to protect alleged debtors from thugs, and the courts and the police are of little help. This helplessness was on full display when two Indian businessmen were taken hostage for 20 days in the Chinese trading hub of Yiwu in 2012. The case came to a head when a court ordered that the two businessmen — who had been taken to court by the angry locals who had seized them — be released. The enraged mob proceeded to ignore the ruling. Authorities later managed to spirit the two men to Shanghai while the case was processed.

    The case, of course, stirred up alarm in India — not least because an Indian diplomat sent to try to resolve the situation became caught in a violent fracas and was subsequently hospitalized. But Chinese authorities were, and still are, ill-equipped to understand the foreign perspective on these cases. Nationalistic Chinese tabloid the Global Times was oblivious to the root cause of Indians’ distress and was instead content to chalk it up to nationalism. The editors couldn’t grasp that most countries don’t see kidnapping as a legitimate response to debt.

    As for the people who decide to take hostages, there are a pretty clear set of incentives — sometimes it works. In 2015, when investors around the country were left high and dry by Fanya Metal Exchange — a fraudulent government-backed trading scheme that was even advertised by staff of top banks — they formed a mob and grabbed the CEO, Shan Jiuliang, themselves, delivering him to police custody. In that instance, he was not arrested, but investor representatives managed to extract promises from him regarding their investments.

    There are, of course, limits to taking hostages without a police backlash. If those taking the hostages are wielding weapons or take innocent bystanders captive, they are far more likely to draw attention from the police. In 2015, a desperate Gansu man leapt in a car in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, and took the driver hostage with a knife and commanded the driver to take him to the police. He was angry because his boss owed him money, but lacking any clues as to the whereabouts of said boss, he grabbed a random driver instead. He ordered the driver to call the police but ended up arrested himself and spent six months in prison.

    The lack of police involvement in these debt-hostage situations, coupled with the economic downturn, makes China a ripe environment for loan sharks. One case that occupied headlines this year involved a debt collector who hired a gang of thugs to terrorize a 23-year-old man named Yu Huan and his mother to get a debt repaid. The police did not intervene, and Yu ended up grabbing a knife and killing one of the attackers after they pushed his mother’s head into the toilet.

    Yu was initially sentenced to a life sentence, though this was reduced to just five years after a public outcry. The Southern Weekly newspaper suggested at the time that the death had only occurred after police had left the scene of the scuffle, leaving Yu desperate. Yu’s attorney indicated during the proceedings that they were considering suing the police for dereliction of duty.

    This, it would seem, was finally enough to spur police action.

    The authorities examined the case and exonerated all the police involved, saying they had only left to call for backup.

    Photo credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

    David Dawson is a journalist and editor in Beijing.

    Justice Court – Town of Washington, small claims court washington.#Small #claims #court #washington

    small claims court washington

    Elizabeth K. Shequine – Town Justice

    Jeff Feigelson – Town Justice

    Louis Spagnola III Deputy Constable

    • Court Clerk Hours Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM 12:00 Noon
    • Court is held every Tuesday, excluding the 1st Tuesday of the month, beginning at 5:00 PM.
    • Special Prosecutor 2nd Tuesday
    • District Attorney Public Defender 4th Tuesday
    • Email: [email protected]
    • The Court handles all cases within the Town of Washington and the Village of Millbrook.
    • Acceptable Payments: Cash, Money Order or Credit Card (additional fee applies)
    • The Court Clerk may answer questions about court procedures but cannot give legal advice.
    • The court is created under, and governed by the Unified Justice Court Act.

    The Town of Washington Court hears formal civil cases when either the Plaintiff or the Defendant resides in, is employed in or has a place of business within the Town.

    Defendants are not guaranteed legal representation in civil court as they are in criminal court but may retain legal representation. People with low income may wish to contact Legal Services of the Hudson Valley which is funded, in part, by the US Department of Health and Human Service, the New York State Office for the Aging, and Dutchess County.


    Cases charging the commission of a traffic infraction within the town limits are filed in the Town of Washington Justice Court. Information regarding how to proceed with a traffic ticket may be found on the back of the ticket issued to the motorist. If the motorist responds by pleading not guilty, the Court Clerk will schedule a trial. The Court conducts non-jury or bench trials for violations, offenses and vehicle and traffic cases. If the motorist pleads guilty by mail, a fine letter will be issued that instructs the defendant on procedure and amount of payment.

    The Court hears small claims cases up to a maximum amount of $3000 when the Defendant resides in, is employed in, or has a place of business within the Town. Individuals and sole proprietors of businesses may bring a suit against an individual, corporation, partnership, association or assignee in Small Claims Court by filing a claim with the Court. There is a filing fee of $10 for claims up to $1000 and $15 for claims up to $3000. You may not file a claim in Small Claims Court for over $3000. Small Claims Court is intended to provide a simple, informal and inexpensive procedure for prompt determination of small claims.

    The Court hears Summary Proceedings/Evictions when the property and the Respondent are located within the Town. These proceedings include non payment of rent or holdover evictions. Plaintiffs may claim the full amount in dispute as there is no limit on the amount of the claim for which the Court has civil jurisdiction in such cases. The Court hears both residential and commercial landlord/tenant cases.

    The Town of Washington Court hears criminal cases originating within the Town and has full jurisdiction for non-felony cases (misdemeanors and violations) to accept guilty pleas or hold trials. On felony charges, the court conducts the arraignment and preliminary inquiry and may set bail or hold without bail. If the charges are not reduced to misdemeanors, the Town Court transfers them to Dutchess County Court for final disposition. The Town Court may not accept pleas in felony cases.

    Defendants have the right to legal counsel and to choose a jury trial or non-jury trial for misdemeanor cases. The Dutchess County Public Defender s Office provides legal services to criminal defendants who have been determined to be indigent.

    A Town Justice may perform civil marriage ceremonies. To schedule a marriage ceremony, contact the Justice Court Clerk at 677-6366.