Table salt: The World Health Organization recommends reducing salt in food due to its danger to health
The World Health Organization advises to reduce the use of salt in food due to its danger to health, as the first global report of its kind by the World Health Organization (WHO) on reducing sodium intake shows that the world is off track to achieve its global goal of reducing sodium intake by 30%. By 2025.
And the World Health Organization said, in a new statement, that sodium, which is an essential nutrient, increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and premature death when consumed in excess, explaining that the main source of sodium is table salt (sodium chloride), but it is also found in spices. others such as sodium glutamate.
The report shows that only 5% of WHO member countries are protected by mandatory and comprehensive policies to reduce sodium and that 73% of WHO member countries lack the full scope to implement such policies.
She added that implementing cost-effective policies to reduce sodium could save an estimated 7 million lives globally by 2030, and is an important component of work to achieve the sustainable development goal of reducing deaths from non-communicable diseases, but today Only 9 countries (Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Uruguay) have a comprehensive package of policies recommended to reduce sodium intake.
“Unhealthy diets are a leading cause of death and disease globally, and excessive sodium intake is one of the main causes,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
This report shows that most countries have not yet adopted any mandatory policies to reduce sodium, which puts their people at risk of heart attack, stroke and other health problems. WHO calls on all countries to implement 'best buys' to reduce sodium, and calls on manufacturers to implement WHO standards for sodium content in food."
She said, a comprehensive approach to reducing sodium includes adopting mandatory policies and the four WHO sodium-related interventions that significantly contribute to the prevention of noncommunicable diseases, these include:
1. Reformulating foods to contain less salt, and setting goals for the amount of sodium in foods and meals.
2. Develop public food procurement policies to limit foods high in salt or sodium in public institutions such as hospitals, schools, workplaces and nursing homes.
3. Labeling on the front of the package helps consumers choose products that contain less sodium.
4. Communication to change behavior and media campaigns to reduce salt/sodium consumption. Countries are encouraged to set sodium content targets for processed foods, in line with WHO global sodium standards and to apply them through these policies.
Mandatory sodium reduction policies are more effective, as they achieve broader coverage and protect against commercial interests, while providing a level playing field for food manufacturers.
“This important report shows that countries must act urgently to implement ambitious and mandatory government-led sodium reduction policies to achieve the global goal of reducing salt consumption by 2025,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives. Working with countries to prevent 100 million deaths from cardiovascular disease over 30 years, “there are proven measures that governments can implement and important innovations, such as reduced sodium salts, the world needs action, as many more people will suffer disability, heart attacks and strokes ".
The average global salt intake is estimated to be around 10.8 grams per day, more than double the WHO recommendation of less than 5 grams of salt per day (1 teaspoon). Eating too much salt makes it the leading risk factor for diet and nutrition-related deaths. There is more There is evidence documenting links between a high sodium intake and an increased risk of other health conditions such as stomach cancer, obesity, osteoporosis and kidney disease.
The World Health Organization calls on Member States to implement policies to reduce sodium intake without delay and mitigate the harmful effects of excessive salt consumption, and the World Health Organization calls on food manufacturers to set ambitious targets for reducing sodium in their products.