Reduce salt intake
27 September, 2014, 12:00 am
FIJIAN men consume more salt than women.
This was confirmed by the World Health Organization in its bid to inform Fijians to reduce their salt intake.
With the World Heart Day celebrated internationally on September 29, WHO is once again reminding people that increased amount of salt in the diet is a contributing factor to heart disease and stroke.
The WHO in a statement said Fijians on an average consume around nine grams of salt per day and that men take more salt than women. WHO confirmed the nine grams per day is almost double the WHO recommended maximum daily intake.
WHO’s assistant director general for non-communicable diseases and mental health Dr Oleg Chestnov said countries should now take action by spreading the gospel of reducing salt intake to 5grams per person per day which is equivalent to one teaspoon.
“Together, we can save an estimated 2.5million lives each year by globally reducing salt intake to less than 5grams per day,” Dr Chestnov said. “Salt is found in most food we eat. It is added to many processed foods during production and in our homes during food preparation and consumption.”
He said many deaths in the Pacific were because of cardiovascular related diseases.
“High salt intake contributes to raised blood pressure and hypertension which is a key risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” he said
“High blood pressure is a public health problem in many Pacific Island countries and areas.
“In some countries, the prevalence is as high as 45 per cent of the adult population. Reducing salt intake in the region would reduce blood pressure, saving thousands of lives every year.”