Hyderabad: The levels of salt consumption in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state are very high, according to a recent study carried out in urban and rural areas of the states.
The dietary recommendations by the World Health Organisation is just five grams of salt per day, but the two Telugu states are consuming as much as 9.45 grams of salt per day with their meals.
Doctors say that salt consumption is high in India as a lot of ‘hidden salt’ is consumed in the form of snacks, wafers, munchies, ready-to-eat meals, pickles and chutneys — all of which people relish.
The numbers were arrived at when a total of 758 individuals were surveyed in both the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in 2016.
Nutritionist Madhurima Chowdhary said: “People in both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh eat lots of salt through ready-eat packs, which have salt as a preservative. So they are consuming a high amount of salt. There are other foods which have sodium in a small quantity, but it adds to their overall salt consumption every single day.”
The World Health Organisation has recommended an intake of about 5 grams of salt per day. Dr Vivekanad Jha, senior general physician, explained, “High levels of salt in processed foods are a cause of major concern for overall public health as there has been a severe dietary shift to convenience foods. The main health problems to the human body caused by high levels of salt in meals is high blood pressure, increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney disease.”
The recent health study has also recommended that India must immediately set up a National Salt Reduction Program which will create awareness and also make people reduce salt in their diet.