Nigeria

NAFDAC, stakeholders call for reduction in salt intake

Crystals of shallow salt in a scoop, spoon on a dark gray table. Background for advertising salt. Table salty. Salted food

National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and other stakeholders have called for a reduction in salt intake to avoid the growing risk of cardiovascular disease.

They made the call yesterday, at the Nigeria Sodium Study stakeholders’ meeting, held at the University of Abuja.

The programme was organised by Nigeria Sodium Study in collaboration with the cardiovascular research centre, University of Abuja, George Institute for Global Health, NAFDAC, Federal Ministry of Health and Northwestern Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine.

NAFDAC director-general, Prof. Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye, urged the food industry to voluntarily reduce the amount of salt in products amid a “growing epidemic of preventable, diet-related conditions.

She said, “Habitual consumption of excess salt may seem harmless, but it is linked to several non-communicable diseases which are prevalent in Nigeria.

People currently have difficulty limiting their intake of salt as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“A meaningful strategy to reduce salt consumption across populations must contain all elements of the SHAKE salt reduction package developed by WHO.

The essential elements of SHAKE are Surveillance: measuring and monitoring salt use.

“The cooperation of food manufacturers, processors, importers, and the restaurant sector in lowering the amount of salt in the food supply will enable consumers to access a reduced salt diet.”

On his part, the vice-chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, lamented that Nigeria has so many problems and the dangers of taking excessive salt are one of them.

While cautioning people against the consumption of salt and other sodium products, he said working with NAFDAC will definitely make a difference for Nigerians.

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