Updated on 30 September 2014
'Non-communicable heart diseases accounted for nearly 2.5 million deaths every year'
Singapore: On the occasion of World Heart Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advocated that less consumption of salt was the key to prevent and control non-communicable diseases.
The health governing body said that high salt intake increased the risk of high blood pressure which is eventually associated with heart disease and stroke.
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO regional director for South-East Asia, said, "The WHO recommends a daily salt intake of less than five grams per adult or just under a teaspoon. The recommendation is even lower for children, depending on their energy needs."
She added that non-communicable heart diseases accounted for nearly 2.5 million deaths every year, which could be prevented if global salt consumption was reduced to the recommended level.
Dr Singh further stated that governments of member nations must create awareness and develop policies to regulate the salt consumption among people. She emphasized that this is a very effective public health intervention that required a multi-sectoral approach for its proper implementation.
Dr Singh opined, "The food industry needs to be engaged to reduce salt content and provide healthy food options by reformulating processed foods to reduced salt options." She further stressed that simple household habits like adding less salt to food while cooking, eating more fruits and vegetables, reducing intake of junk foods, would be instrumental in improving health and well-being.