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FG ATTRIBUTES HIGH SODIUM CONSUMPTION AS CAUSE OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES, ETC

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FG ATTRIBUTES HIGH SODIUM CONSUMPTION AS CAUSE OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES, ETC                                                                    13-02-24

By Sadiq Aminu                                                      The Federal Government has attributed increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, gastric cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, kidney diseases in Nigeria to Increasing high sodium consumption among the poeple

At the inauguration and inception workshop of the National Sodium Reduction Technical Working Group, the permanent Sectary, Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Kachelom Daju stated that Reducing Salt intake is one of the most effective measures to improve health and reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases.

She announced that the inauguration of the National Soduim Reduction Technical group was in response to WHO recommendation for member states to address high intake of salt (sodium) in their populations.

“Considering the WHO recommendation for member states to reduce intake of salt (sodium) by 30% by year 2025 and study findings in some parts of our country that average adult consume much sodium per day, which is higher than the WHO recommended 2g of sodium equivalent to 1 teaspoon consumption per day and in addition to insufficient potassium intake in our diets, the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is poised to formulate policies and national strategies with the aim of the creating environment for Nigerian masses to consume adequate quantities of safe and nutritious foods with appropriate salt content and improve dietary habits of the masses”

The Permanent Secretary. Represented by the Director, food and drug services of the Minisry, Mrs OLUBUMI ARIBEANA outlined the terms of reference of the Technical Working Group including to develop a comprehensive National Sodium Reduction Guideline for an effective and efficient approach to sodium Reduction in the country.

“The TWG is also expected to coordinate the overall operationalisation of the developed National Guideline and set a timeline for its implementation.
According to WHO, globally, excess of sodium intake is responsible for about 1.65 million deaths annually and average sodium intake in 181 countries is twice the level recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO). Although, it is also a known fact that sodium is an essential nutrient necessary for maintenance of body plasma volume; acid-base balance; transmission of nerve impulse and normal cell function, but dietary sodium consumption which is dependent on cultural and dietary habits of citizens had led to over consumption”

The permament Secretary therefore called for close monitoring of Industries and food production companies to comply with international food safety standards.

Ms Kachelom Daju expressed worry that in every home today in Nigeria there must be one person on HBP drugs, caused by mainly high salt intake which underscores the need for reduced salt intake in foods.

Experts say high sodium intake comes from variety of natural foods like milk, meat, shellfish, and processed foods such as breads, processed meat, snacks, spices as well as in bouillon cubes.

But WHO recommends only two gramms of salt (sodium) per person a day.

Members of the Technical Working Group were drawn
from different sectors of the Economy.

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