Individuals and communities should work together to improve health literacy, said Rana Flowers, UNICEF representative to China at the sidelines of the conference.
Community leaders should set an example of healthy lifestyles because they could influence others, Flowers said.
How to control chronic ailments remains a challenge for the city, said Liang Xiaofeng, deputy director of China Disease Prevention and Control Center. The nation had responded by launching the "China Healthy Lifestyle for All" campaign in 2007, which encouraged people to walk 10,000 steps every day and have a healthy diet, especially reducing salt, sugar and oil intake.
So far, the program had attracted nearly 240,000 "health ambassdors" to promote the concept and raised the awareness in more than 40,000 areas, including schools and canteens, Liang said.
In 2008, China released 66 pieces of health information that people should take to heart. One of these states: "If you give up smoking before 35 years old, your chance to get heart attack will be reduced 90 percent."
Flowers said it was necessary to raise health awareness among children. "We can have healthy adults only if we focus on children," she said.