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Federal Government Warns Nigerians Against Excess Intake Of Salt

Prof. Ali Pate, warns Nigerians against excess consumption of salt and sodium, saying it could cause hypertension and other heart diseases.

On Tuesday Prof. Ali mentioned this in Abuja at a news conference to commemorate the 2024 Salt Awareness Week, with the theme: ”It’s Time to Shine the Spotlight on Salt.”

Prof. Ali said the Federal Government would step up public awareness on the dangers of excess salt intake.

The officials said that not less than 10 per cent of cardiovascular disease deaths are attributed to the burden of excess sodium consumption in Nigeria.

Prof. Ali explained that there were varying estimates of the average daily intake of dietary sodium among Nigerian adults, ranging from 2.3 to 10 grams per day, while the intake of dietary salt ranged from 5.8 to 25 grams per day.

He said that this figure was remarkably higher than the WHO recommendations for a daily consumption of 2 grams of sodium and 5 grams of salt.

Prof. Ali said that reducing sodium intake was crucial for controlling blood pressure, adding that this would help to prevent hypertension and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

According to him, salt is a hidden adversary in people’s diets, and it contributes to the burden of cardiovascular diseases that afflict many of their loved ones.

He said, “Nigeria is not immune to the global epidemic of hypertension and heart diseases.

“The choices we make at our dining tables, the ingredients we stir into our pots, and the snacks we consume at a moment of leisure; all contribute to the silent escalation of health risks associated with high salt intake.

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Prof. Ali said that about 17.9 million lives were claimed as salt intake had a far-reaching impact on death, through high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Prof. Ali said that applying sodium reduction strategies could lead to significant healthcare savings, and also prevent costly medical treatments for diseases caused by high sodium intake.

Prof. Ali said that the FG had embarked on several initiatives to curtail excessive salt intake and bring about a healthier Nigeria.

Dr Walter Mulombo, also said that excess salt consumption was linked to kidney disease  and gastric cancer.

Mulombo, who was represented by National Progression Officer on Nutrition, WHO, Dr Pindar Wakawa, said the global average intake of sodium was more than double what the WHO recommended.

He advised Nigerians to take precautions against salt and sodium consumption.

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