KOTA SAMARAHAN (Bernama) – Salt intake among Malaysians is at an alarming level, said Malaysian Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.
He said this based on the study titled the Malaysian Community Salt Study 2017-2018 (My CoSS 2017/2018), where findings showed that the average salt intake per day among the Malaysian population was at 7.9 grammes or equivalent to 1.6 teaspoons.
“The study also showed that four out of five Malaysians consumed salt in high quantity.
“This suggests that the Malaysian population is taking excessive salt, above the level recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is less than five grammes (one teaspoon) per day,” he said in a press conference after officiating the National Salt Reduction Awareness Day 2019 at a shopping centre yesterday.
Themed Jom Bertindak #Sedap Tak Semestinya Masin the campaign will end on April 20.
Dr Lee said excessive salt intake would increase the risk of hypertension and if left unchecked it could cause stroke and heart disease.
He said salt reduction was one of the most cost-effective interventions in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
WHO has set a global target for salt reduction in the population as much as 30 per cent by 2025, he said.
Dr Lee said a study in the United Kingdom showed that a reduction in the consumption of one gramme of salt per day could save 7,000 lives and about one billion in savings in healthcare.