Campaign to Cut Salt Consumption, Strokes

Campaign to Cut Salt Consumption, StrokesCampaign to Cut Salt Consumption, Strokes

A nationwide crusade to raise awareness about salt consumption has been launched. The campaign aims to reduce the high rate of salt consumption among Iranians and covers such areas as instilling healthy eating habits among young children, school cafeteria makeovers, eating habits among the elderly and monitoring bakeries for their use of salt.

Other features of the plan include addressing non-infectious diseases like high blood pressure, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The plan took off on December 27 and will continue for 5 weeks, Shafaonline reports.

The health and nutrition deputy at the ministry of health said sodium intake for adults under the age of 50 should not exceed 5 grams a day. Dr. Zahra Abdollahi said the amount for people with high blood pressure or coronary diseases and children is 3 grams a day.

‘’This includes hidden sodium which is used in bread, water, sauces and fast food as well as the salt which is added to the food,’’ Abdollahi said. ‘’ Cardiovascular diseases account for one-third of all the fatalities from chronic diseases.’’

 Prevents Fatalities

Abdollahi emphasized that a 6 gram reduction in sodium consumption can reduce strokes by 34% and coronary diseases by 18% and “this will ultimately prevent 2.5 million deaths annually.”

She urged mothers and preschool officials not to add salt to the meals provided for children aged less than one year, so they would not develop a taste for salty foods. She also called for salty snacks to be removed from children’s diet.

Various health officials in the country have warned about the high consumption of foods high in sodium levels but this is the first campaign of its kind to address the issue on a large scale.