Dr João Breda is head of the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD), which is an integral part of the WHO Regional Office and its Division of NCD and Promoting Health through the Life-course. Launched in Moscow in 2014, the NCD Office marked an important milestone in the commitment made by the Russian Federation for combatting NCDs in the WHO European Region.
Before his appointment as head of the NCD Office in February 2017, during the past seven years Dr João Breda has been the Programme Manager: Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the Regional Office in Copenhagen, responsible for providing support to the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region on the implementation of the European Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015-2020 and the Physical Activity Strategy for the WHO European Region 2016-2025, as well as evaluating their implementation process.
João Breda has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from Porto University where he defended a thesis focused on alcohol abuse in young people. He completed his Master’s Degree in Public Health by the Faculty of Medical Sciences of Lisbon University and an MBA from the European University in Barcelona.
In Portugal, before joining WHO in 2010, João worked as a Public Health Specialist at the General Directorate of Health and other institutions of the Ministry of Health at local and central level, particularly in the fields of nutrition, physical activity, obesity and alcohol abuse. He was the first coordinator and led for several years the National Platform against Obesity.
As an academic, João chaired the Department of the Nutritional Sciences of Atlantic University (Lisbon). He also collaborated with Algarve University, Coimbra College of Agriculture and Coimbra Hospitality School.
Among his several dozens of published scientific papers and original books emerges the number one best-selling book on infant nutrition in Portugal.