Traditionally, Indians consume between 10 and 15 grams of salt a day. While this may have been tolerable in earlier generations when hard work in the heat enabled the body to sweat it off, today, it is leading to unhealthy consequences.

“The World Health Organisation recommends only 5 grams per day. This means that we have to cut down our salt intake considerably. If all of us reduce our salt intake by one-third, it is estimated that the health budget can be cut by 40 per cent,” said Rajan Ravichandran, chairman, Sapiens Health Foundation.

Speaking on the eve of World Kidney Day, Dr. Ravichandran said 45 per cent of the adult population in the country had high blood pressure, which was the most common killer in the world. “One remedy? Reduce your salt intake and avoid kidney disease,” he said.

V. Shanta, chairman, Cancer Institute, Adyar, said days such as these should be used to re-dedicate oneself to creating awareness and preventing various diseases.

“Over the last few decades, though rapid advances have been made in the medical field, we are seeing the rise of non-communicable diseases. The problem in India is that even communicable diseases have not been wiped out as yet,” she said.

Stressing the need to promote prevention, she said even if a disease was curable, it hampered one’s quality of life and increased costs.

Comedian Crazy Mohan and cartoonist Madhan spoke about the need to stay fit and health conscious. Several patients of kidney disease, who have now recovered, also spoke on the occasion.

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