Heart Disease & Stroke: WHO Warns Against High Salt Consumption



World Health Organisation (WHO) in marking the ``World Heart Day’ on Thursday in Geneva, called for reduction in salt intake to cut the number of people experiencing heart disease and stroke and in turn save lives.

It described non-communicable diseases, including heart diseases and stroke, as the leading causes of premature death in the 21st century.

Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General, said the Global Action Plan to reduce non-communicable diseases, reducing global salt intake by a relative 30 per cent by 2025, was one of the major targets.

"If the target to reduce salt by 30 per cent globally by 2025 is achieved, millions of lives can be saved from heart disease, stroke and related conditions," he said.

Chestnov said consuming too much salt could lead to high blood pressure and greatly increase the risk of heart diseases and stroke.

He noted that reducing salt intake was one of the most effective ways to improve health.

Chestnov said people who consumed 10gm of salt per day, ate almost double the WHO's recommended level of salt intake.

He urged the food industry to work closely with national governments to incrementally reduce the level of salt in food products.

Chestnov said part of WHO's evidence-based strategies to reduce salt consumption included ensuring that food manufacturers reduced the levels of salt in food and beverage products.

The strategy was also to make healthy food available and affordable, foster healthy eating environments in public places as well as to ensure clear food labelling so that consumers could easily understand the level of salt in products.

Chestnov said for individuals and families, WHO recommended removing salt dispensers and bottled sauces form dining tables and limit the amount of salt added in cooking.

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