National Salt Reduction Program in Jamaica to Combat Diseases

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Dr. Christopher Tufton, Health and Wellness Minister of Jamaica, has been taking measures to collaborate with the University of West Indies and many other health centers to attain statistics on the amount of salt used in the restaurant as well as packaged food. Salt consumption in excess can give rise to ailments such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and many other ailments.

Budget Assigned for Reduction of Salt for Prevention and Control

The Minister said that a budget of $23 million is assigned for this program and this project will run for 18 months in partnership with the Caribbean Health and Research Institute to develop a solution that will prevent this problem as the citizens living in that region face blood pressure problems. He said that the statistical data show the problem of blood pressure is common among people in most of the areas.

Intake More Than Prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO)

Dr. Tufton has also stated that it has been revealed, through  information published by WHO that the recommended intake of salt daily is 2000 milligrams. People in these regions are exceeding these limits which are leading to many health problems. He said that there could be a grave danger to the lifespan of a person whose salt intake is excessive per day. He addressed this concern and said he is working towards taking preventive measures to reduce salt intake.

Meeting with the Stakeholders

Food producers and health institutes together are working on a solution that will reduce the intake of salt in restaurants as well as packaged foods. The program is intended to change the eating habits of people with regard to salt consumption. Minister Tufton is committed to succeeding in this program within the duration of 18 months. He has also stated that $77 billion profits could be achieved over 15 years if preventive measures are taken for tobacco and alcohol usage as well. He said that this could help in preventing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

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