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WHO, drastic efforts to reduce salt, 7 million lives at risk – Medicine

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WHO, drastic efforts to reduce salt, 7 million lives at risk – Medicine

Implementing policies to reduce salt in food could save around 7 million lives globally by 2030. But only 5% of World Health Organization member states have mandatory and comprehensive sodium reduction policies , and Italy is not among these. This is underlined by the first WHO ‘Global report on sodium intake reduction’ which warns: “the world is off track to achieve the global goal of reducing sodium intake by 30% by 2025″.

The global average salt intake is estimated to be 10.8 grams per day, more than double the WHO recommended intake of less than 5 grams of salt per day (equal to one teaspoon). “Unhealthy diets are a leading cause of death and disease globally, and excessive sodium intake is a major culprit,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general. An essential nutrient, when consumed in excess sodium increases the risk of heart disease, stroke but some studies document an increased risk of gastric cancer, obesity, osteoporosis and kidney disease. Despite this, only 9 countries (Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Uruguay) have a comprehensive policy package with mandatory sodium reduction measures. And in Italy, the report notes, there are no provisions and there is no limit on the sodium content in foods.

WHO calls on all countries to implement mandatory policies and to promote 4 ‘best buy’ interventions: set targets for the amount of sodium in food and meals; limit salt-rich foods in hospitals, schools, workplaces and nursing homes; label on the front of the package to help consumers select low sodium products, carry out communication campaigns to reduce salt consumption. But also encourage the consumption of salt with a low sodium content (low sodium).

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