World is eating too much salt and this is increasing our risk of heart disease, stroke, and premature death. WHO’s first global report on sodium intake reduction shows that the world is off-track to achieve its global target of reducing sodium intake by 30% by 2025. The report observes only 5% of WHO Member States are protected by mandatory and comprehensive sodium reduction policies. (Also read: Too much salt can increase risk of these deadly diseases)
While sodium is an important nutrient for maintaining balance of water and minerals in the body and plays a role in nerve function, excess consumption can raise risk of many chronic diseases putting one at risk of early mortality. The main source of sodium is table salt (sodium chloride), but it is also contained in other condiments such as sodium glutamate. Fast food, chips, snacks, soups, processed meats, instant noodles are all contain sodium glutamate, and the regular consumption of these foods items are wreaking havoc on our health.
The global average salt intake is estimated to be 10.8 grams per day, more than double the WHO recommendation of less than 5 grams of salt per day (one teaspoon). Eating too much salt makes it the top risk factor for diet and nutrition-related deaths. More evidence is emerging documenting links between high sodium intake and increased risk of other health conditions such as gastric cancer, obesity, osteoporosis and kidney disease, the report further states.
“Unhealthy diets are a leading cause of death and disease globally, and excessive sodium intake is one of the main culprits,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
“This report shows that most countries are yet to adopt any mandatory sodium reduction policies, leaving their people at risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. WHO calls on all countries to implement the ‘Best Buys’ for sodium reduction, and on manufacturers to implement the WHO benchmarks for sodium content in food.”
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