Reduction of salt intake can prevent heart diseases: WHO

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WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Credit: WHO

Governments and people around the world are being urged by the World Health Organization (WHO) to take action to reduce the intake of salt.

On World Heart Day, observed annually on 29 September, WHO is warning that consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and greatly increase the risk of heart problems.

According to WHO, non-communicable diseases, including heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of premature death in the 21st century.

Dr Temo Waqanivalu is a non-communicable disease expert at WHO.

"We need salt in our body. Currently, we get a lot of salt from processed foods and that has increased the consumption of salt to the stage  that it's linked to these diseases. That's why the WHO Member States have come together and, based on the science and the evidence of its link to heart diseases, it has put out the recommendation that the population should reduce the average intake of salt per person to less than five grams of salt per day, which is about a teaspoon of salt." (29")

WHO is supporting governments to implement a global action plan that includes the reduction of salt intake by 30 per cent by 2025.

The agency says one of the actions that can be taken at an individual level is to read food labels when buying processed food to check the level of the ingredient.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'33"

 

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