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In the Media

article imageNutritionists warn 'salt is as bad as cigarettes'

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By Chris V. Thangham
Dec 3, 2008 in Health
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Nutritionists and doctors are worried that Australians are consuming too much salt, which may harm their health just as adversely as cigarettes do.
Nutritionists believe Australians are consuming too much salt than recommended. They are getting this high salt content not only from fast foods but also from canned foods.
Some of the foods high in salt content were bread, processed meats, baked beans, canned vegetables, table sauces, some breakfast cereals and fast food.
They found that less than five per cent of all sausages and beef burgers sold in the supermarkets in Australia contain acceptable levels of salt.
The nutritionists from Australia and from other parts of the world met and discussed this issue at the Nutrition Society of Australia Conference.
Jacqui Webster, senior project manager for “The George Institute for International Health” told at the conference that Australians are eating more than the recommended 6 grams (0.21 ounces or 0.01 lb) of salt a day.
She said despite health warnings, many Australians are ignoring the recommendation and eating too much salt.
She told the conference:
Consuming too much salt, or sodium, can lead to serious health problems including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis and stomach cancer...There is also some evidence that it adds to the severity of asthma symptoms.'
There was a survey done in 2007 by the Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity survey. The results shows the boys were consuming about 9 grams (0.32 ounces or 0.02 lb) of salt daily compared to the girls 6 grams (0.01 lb) of salt.
Webster is confident from the above conclusion that adults will be eating more salt than the average children.
A similar research in United Kingdom found that processed foods contained about 75 percent of salt in a person’s diet -- 10 percent of salt came from natural foods like fish and vegetables and the remaining 15 percent came from adding salt at the dinner table.
Webster concluded that everyone should maintain the right salt balance and pay close attention to it.
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