Vegetarian Era The World Health Organization: Enlightened Goals and Remarkable Achievements  

Ten Reasons To Eat More Like a Vegetarian

Vegetarian Nobel Laureates and Scientists

Eminent Scientists and Inventors on Vegetarianism

A Key to Reducing Global Warming and Resource Depletion

The World Health Organization: Enlightened Goals and Remarkable Achievements

Avian Flu: Nature’s Wake-Up Call for Humanity

Vegetarian Awakening in the Himalayas

Vegetarian Heroes of the Silver Screen

Special Interviews — Film Star Linda Blair on Vegetarianism and Compassion

Presenting a New Focus on Health, Environmentalism and Animal Welfare

Vegetarianism and the Path to Compassion

Victor’s Picnic with the Vegetarian Animals Encourages Children to Be Vegetarian


News 151, Vegetarian Era

The World Health Organization: Enlightened Goals and Remarkable Achievements

By the Ohio News Group, USA
(Originally in English)


The World Health Organization (WHO) was founded in 1948 as a special agency of the United Nations. With nearly two hundred member countries, the agency implements worldwide programs to prevent and eliminate disease. But the WHO’s mission goes beyond the mere treatment of physical illness, its stated objective being “the attainment of the highest possible level of health for all people in the world” with health defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.”


Over the years, the WHO has continually found ways to achieve this goal, with its first major accomplishment the eradication of smallpox, long considered the most deadly and persistent human infectious disease. Smallpox had caused millions of deaths and much suffering for centuries, but once the agency set out to eradicate it, WHO personnel traveled the world to conduct a massive vaccination program. And as a result, smallpox was eliminated in 1977. Since then, the WHO has turned its attention to other diseases such as polio and leprosy, which are now on the verge of eradication as well.

In addition to fighting illness, the World Health Organization has been a key player in promoting worldwide disease prevention and health programs. Working with partners in health research, the WHO gathers data on global health conditions and needs, particularly in developing countries. One of its most recent initiatives is the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. This project, mandated by the World Health Assembly in May 2002, arose through the discovery that more and more people in the developing world were suffering from chronic disease.

Increasing urbanization was found to play a large part in changing health conditions among residents of developing countries. In addition, it was long known that city dwellers are more likely to consume energy-dense diets high in saturated fats and refined carbohydrates. For the newly urban poor, this sudden change in diet, along with the transition to a sedentary lifestyle, resulted in an increasing incidence of chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and respiratory ailments. However, most risk factors for these conditions — high blood pressure, high cholesterol, increased body weight and decreased physical exercise — are largely preventable.

Research conducted after the World Health Assembly found that diet and exercise are key elements in combating many of these risk factors. For example, diets rich in fruit and vegetables, which contain immune-system boosting micronutrients, enhance the body’s natural defenses against infectious disease. Specifically, the following recommendations for preventive health were made by the WHO:

* Eat more fruit and vegetables, nuts and whole grains
* Engage in daily physical activity
* Replace saturated animal fats with unsaturated vegetable oil-based fats
* Cut the overall amount of fatty, salty and sugary foods in the diet
* Maintain a normal body weight
* Stop smoking

While these guidelines do not specify a completely vegetarian diet, they clearly emphasize fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and vegetable fats. In addition, the recommendations are based on data gathered from all over the world, and so reflect both a concern about nutrition and a respect for cultural diversity, including groups that value vegetarianism from the standpoint of compassion for animals. For example, the WHO received input from the International Vegetarian Union, an organization with a worldwide membership founded in 1908.

In May 2004, the World Health Organization will present these suggestions as a global prevention-based proposal to the World Health Assembly to provide the Assembly’s member states with solid evidence for implementing national health strategies. The WHO will also seek interaction with the international food industry to stress the business sector’s responsibility in helping to achieve these goals.

Other recent WHO projects include campaigns to reduce tobacco use worldwide, and research on the health effects of the electromagnetic field surrounding cell phones.


During its fifty-six year history, the World Health Organization has performed earthly miracles. In the above-mentioned case of smallpox eradication alone, the agency accomplished in twenty years what the medical profession had not been able to achieve in the previous two hundred. For, although the smallpox vaccine was discovered in 1796, it was only after the WHO began carrying the torch to eliminate it that the disease was finally wiped out in 1977.

The World Health Organization embodies many of the Godly qualities that we find so inspiring in our beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai — tirelessness, constant work for the benefit of humanity, and a desire for anonymity. Thus, the organization has been blessed by God and will no doubt continue to grace the world with its humble but great endeavors.


Alternate Living

Master on Vegetarianism

Become a Vegetarian in all Aspects

Growing and Preparing Food with Love: Better Alternative to Genetically Modified Food

Vegetarianism: The Best Solution to the Global Water Crisis

The Unacceptable Toll of Meat, Alcohol and Cigarette Consumption on Human Life

Our Animal Friends

Vegetarian Recipes

Vegetarian Restaurants



Copyright © The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association
All Rights Reserved.