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Let’s encourage children to consume less salt 

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By Samira Larbie, GNA 

www.ghanareaders.com

Accra, Feb 7, GNA-Dr Francis Addai, a Family Physician and Diabetologist, has asked parents, especially mothers, to be mindful of feeding children with too much salt-based foods to protect them against blood pressure, heart diseases and stroke. 

He noted that the country was recording increasing cases of overweight, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, all associated with high sodium intake hence the need to control salt in foods to protect children against such diseases as they aged. 

Dr Addai, also a Non-Communicable Diseases Consultant for the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview. 

“When we mention salt, we are not just talking about the table salt, but we are also referring to monosodium salts, which include Maggie sauces, Maggie cubes we cook with. They are all very high in sodium that can cause our blood pressures to rise,” he said. 

Although the human body required some amount of sodium to conduct nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, as well as maintain the proper balance of water and minerals, only a small quantity was needed daily for the vital functions. 

“Too much of this in a diet can, lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke,” he said. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults consume less than five grams (just under a teaspoon) of salt per day while adjusting this downward for children aged two to 15 years based on their energy requirements relative to those of adults. 

 “This recommendation for children does not address the period of exclusive breastfeeding (0–6 months) or the period of complementary feeding with continued breastfeeding (6–24 months)” it stated.  

The Organisation said reducing salt intake had been identified as one of the most cost-effective measures countries could take to improve population health outcomes.  

It said an estimated 2.5 million deaths could be prevented each year if global salt consumption were reduced to the recommended level. 

“So, if we cook with less salt our children will grow up and become used to it,” Dr Addai said and called for a change in lifestyle and the need for people to consume more natural foods than processed foods. 

GNA 

 

(The Daily Searchlight appears every day on the newsstands and for sale 24 hours every day and all week on www.ghananewstand.com. Visit www.ghananewstand.com for a wide variety of newspapers published in Ghana and from across the world.)

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