Thais warned to reduce salt intake
- Published: 16/10/2012 at 03:13 PM
- Online news:
Thai people should reduce their consumption of salty foods for their own good health, according to the public health deputy permanent secretary.
Dr Sophon Mekthon was speaking at the launch of a campaign to enourage people to eat more healthily.
The health ministry is cooperating with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, the Royal College of Physicians of Thailand (RCPT) and the network for consuming less salt.
Dr Sophon said a survey showed that Thais on average consume about 5,000 milligrammes of sodium salt a day, twice the recommended daily maximum of 2,400 mg, or about one teaspoon, per day.
As a result of consuming salty foods, 21.4% or 11.5 million Thai people were suffering from high blood pressure, 17.5% or 7.6 million from kidney ailments, 1.4% or 750,000 from constricted heart arteries, and 1.1% or half a million from cerebrovascular disease.
Dr Sophon said foods with a high salt or sodium content are hazardous to health.
The ministry has an ongoing policy to improve people's health, he said. The objective is to reduce the incidence of five prevalent diseases: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart blood shortage, cerebrovascular disease and cancer.
Dr Kriang Tangsanga, the RCPT chairman, said the college is responsible for educating the public and medical and public health staff to ensure understanding of these illnesses, and for changing people's eating behaviour to improve their health and reduce the need for expensive treatments for chronic diseases.
This task is carried out, with cooperation from various health associations, under the project to campaign for reduction of sodium intake under the slogan, "Halve salt intake. Stay away from illness."
Dr Surasak Kantachuvessiri, chairman of the network for consuming less salt, said a survey revealed that about 70% of people buy lunch from food shops and stalls, mostly rice with curry, a quick dish cooked to order, or noodles.
The five most popular seasonings are fish sauce, soy sauce, salt, shrimp paste and oyster sauce, all with high sodium content, he said.
People should avoid pickled or processed foods, cut down on consumption of noodle soup and check the sodium content on the label of processed foods before consumption, he added.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters