Abstract

The epidemic rise in cardiovascular diseases, the primary cause of global mortality, is a major impediment to human sustainable development as it leads to heavy expenditure on chronic treatment and loss in income and productivity due to increased morbidity and mortality. Raised blood pressure is one of the more potent risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. High dietary salt consumption triggers an increase in blood pressure and also adversely affects other vital organs, such as the kidneys. The global mean per capita salt intake is almost twice the recommended amount of 5 g/day. Member States of the World Health Organization have thus set a global target of 30% reduction in salt intake by 2025 to address the current health and development challenges, especially those posed to low and middle income countries. This paper compares certain aspects of the policies (and the implementation of those policies) that are aimed at the reduction of salt intake in South Africa and India with those in Canada and the United Kingdom. As developing countries, South Africa and India already face lower levels of development and greater health challenges due to the double burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases. This is further exacerbated by these two countries having a large adult population with the increased challenges of raised blood pressure. South Africa and India could benefit from adopting (with appropriate modifications) successful approaches to salt reduction that have been implemented in the UK and Canada. Adoption of sustainable, context-specific, culturally appropriate salt-reduction strategies are needed to reduce death and disability caused by excessive salt intake.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1549-0955
Print ISSN
0032-471X
Launched on MUSE
2016-02-02
Open Access
No
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