Governments on Monday adopted a political declaration to combat “lifestyle” diseases but stopped short of setting targets this year to reduce the impact public health and lead to economic losses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and lung disease.

The governments pledged to adopt formal targets before the end of 2012 by using voluntary policies to cut smoking, cut high salt, sugar and fat content in foods.

The illnesses, known as non-communicable disease, killed about 36 million people per year last year, mostly in low and middle-income countries.

The World Health Organization expects deaths from NCDs to rise by 17 percent over the next decade.

“The prognosis is grim,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

However he said the ways to drive down those rates were known.

“We should encourage individuals to make the smart choices that will protect their health. Exercise, eat well, limit alcohol consumption and stop smoking,” he said.

Other factors include keeping the environment clean to protect against toxic substances.

“Early detection is in everyone’s interest, And early treatment reduces pain, cuts costs and lowers the risk of disability or death,” he said.

The Secretary-General said he expected governments “to lead this campaign” and the need for holding industry accountable “so that the disgraceful actions of a few do not sully the reputation of many” working for progress, he said.

He singled companies that profit from selling processed foods to children, including manufacturer.