Reduction of Salt Intake Eyed by Many Countries

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Salt is an important mineral which has vital functions in the human body. It is present in almost all of the food products available in the market because aside from it gives tastes; it is also use to reduce the chance of spoilage among the perishable goods. However, too much consumption of salt is associated to the development of lifestyle diseases which includes hypertension, and renal problems. And because of this, numerous countries are taking action to reduce the salt intake of the general population, and furthermore save life.

According to the experts, they said that the idea of reduction of salt intake can save the lives of many people for the next decade, and thus, spreading of this concern to other countries should be very significant in an attempt to decrease the amount of salt in the diet and help prevent diseases related to excessive salt intake.

In the report of the Mayo Clinic, it was said that “the average American gets about 3,400 mg of sodium a day — much more than recommended. To help keep your sodium consumption in check, you need to know where the sodium comes from processed and prepared foods.”

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you’re age 51 or older, or if you are black, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

Some of the countries which have taken action in forwarding their cause of reducing salt consumption include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Suriname, Uruguay  and United States. Health officials of these countries have developed multiple strategies and measure which include information dissemination that reached different state and countries through various educational campaigns, information drives, and coordination with the mass media to make the general population aware regarding the health benefits of reducing salt intake. Also, the strategies are extended to the producers and manufacturers of different food products for them to reformulate their products into a healthier one with lesser salt content. Improvement of nutrition labels are as well forwarded in order to make the public aware about the contents of what they are consuming.

Efforts regarding the reduction of salt intake were discussed at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, D.C. together with experts and representative from different countries.

Moreover, based from the various studies conducted, the reduction of salt intake can help the general population decrease the risk from developing diseases like hypertension, stroke, and kidney diseases where excessive salt intake can put a major health risk and affects the prognosis of the disease. Furthermore, Dr. Norm Campbell, professor of medicine at the University of Calgary (Canada) and chair of a PAHO-convened expert group on salt and health, said: “Salt reduction is one of the most cost-effective public health measures available. If other countries join these efforts, we can save tens of thousands of lives over the next 10 years.”



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