That ‘pinch of salt’ tied to hypertension

According to World Health Organization, 9.8 million people die every year due to hypertension. The single most important cause for hypertension is salt. Hence, there is a very strong need to control salt consumption. On November 12, 'Salt Satyagraha' was held at IIT Powai in order to create awareness about the same

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For most of the Indians, bland food is a no-no and the taste enhancer that has turned into our best food-buddy. Yes! Salt has come a long way. Salt is perhaps most well-known for its roles as a food preservative and flavoring agent. However, studies regarding salt consumption and its ill-effects have been highlighted quite a few times.

According to World Health Organization, 9.8 million people die every year due to hypertension. The single most important factor for hypertension is salt.  Hence, there is a very strong need to control salt consumption. Analysing the urgent need for salt awareness, IIT Madras and IIT Bombay hosted a ‘salt satyagraha’ conducted by doctors and experts as a part of Sapiens Health  Foundation on November 12 and 13 respectively.

“We are way too late for salt regulation already. There is immense need for salt consumption awareness in the country. 64 countries across the world already have salt regulation,” said Dr Rajan Ravichandran, who heads the Sapiens Health Foundation. He further cited that WHO permits 5 grams of salt a day while an average Indian consumes 10.98grams of salt in a day.

The event at IIT Bombay focused about how different countries have already regulated their salt consumption. The special guest speaker, Graham MacGregor is an academic who is a professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Wolfson Institute, Queen Mary University, London.

“A progressive salt reduction target has been set for each year for over 80 categories of food. With this, a gradual reduction of 10 to 20 per cent, per year has been witnessed. In all of this, public education plays a very important role,” said Prof MacGregor as he spoke about Salt regulation in United Kingdom.

All in all, the event aimed at creating awareness about the need to regulate salt consumption. Dr Bharat Shah, nephrologist at Sion Hospital and Director, Institute of Renal Sciences, Global Hospitals said, “Salt awareness is important in order to lead a healthy life. It is the need of the hour.”