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Salt intake twice ideal


rhondathompson, [email protected]

Salt intake twice ideal

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THE DIET OF Barbadians is too high in calories. In addition, the consumption of sodium, fats, sugars and refined carbohydrates is also above the recommended level.  
Minister of Health Donville Inniss made these remarks on Wednesday at the seminar on Salt Reduction held by the National Commission for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, the Ministry of Health and National Nutrition Centre focused on the benefits of reducing salt for producers/manufacturers and the community.  
Inniss said that although the intake of fruits and vegetables is increasing, it is still well below the required levels and it is becoming increasingly clear that food and nutrition policies must be used to address challenges posed by chronic non-communicable diseases.
The minister added that one of the most important concepts related to consumer tastes and preferences and it would not be an easy task as it involved human behaviours that were complex and governed by the context in which they were practised.  
He added that there was the need for a new vision, one which sought to address national level nutritional well-being and public health issues in terms of food production, marketing and the general food supply system.
The seminar sought to engage civil society organizations in the national community efforts to reduce chronic diseases through the reformulation of products and also to highlight the role local manufacturers and producers can play in positively influencing the health of the nation by reducing the amount of salt (sodium) in local food preparation.
Role of manufacturers
Dr Joy St John, Chief Medical Officer, said all were at risk of eating too much salt and there were too many people suffering the consequences of high blood pressure and its complications.  
“In Barbados, [there is] increasing concern about the amount of salt being used by our population.
I believe Barbadians are aware of the dangers of a diet rich in salt; however, this has not translated into practice,” she said.
“The salt intake in Barbados is estimated to be between 12 to 15 grams per day when the recommended daily amount is six grams or one teaspoon.”
Representing the manufacturing sector was Bobbi McKay, executive director of the Barbados Manufacturer’s Association (BMA), who highlighted that the food and beverage sector in manufacturing was the primary industry or subsector in the island.  
McKay said the BMA was constantly working with members to enhance their operations and the call being echoed for the manufacturers to give greater consideration to the role they play and the potential within their power to positively impact the health of our nation. “The manufacturers have the opportunity to look at a wide range of value-added products and to make greater use of a number of indigenous materials,” McKay stated.
She added that through partnerships with the National Council for Science and Technology and others, manufacturers have been able to reformulate their products to begin to address issues such as sodium reduction. (LK)

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