WHO Stresses Importance of Reducing Global Sodium Intake

The world is slated to miss a 2025 sodium intake reduction goal.

The world is slated to miss a 2025 sodium intake reduction goal.

Back in 2013, all 194 member countries of the World Health Organization committed to a goal of lowering the planet’s overall intake of sodium 30% by the year 2025. Ten years later, the first report on the world’s progress in this endeavor has been released, and the results are disappointing.

Based on the WHO’s report, only around 5% of their member countries have implemented any kind of action or legislation in the interest of cutting down on the salt. Based on current projections, the member countries will almost definitely miss the 2025 goal of 30% sodium intake reduction.

“Progress has been slow and only a few countries have been able to reduce population sodium intake, but no one has been able to achieve the target,” Dr. Francesco Branca, director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, said in the report. “As such, it is being considered to extend the target to 2030.”

According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, over-indulgence in sodium leads to approximately 2 million deaths around the world yearly, as high-sodium diets have been linked to conditions like strokes and heart disease.

“We can reduce sodium intake by deciding to add less salt to the food we prepare and by deciding to buy foods that contain less sodium,” Branca said in the report. “However, several public policies need to make this choice an easier one.”

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