High salt intake among Indian adults: PHFI

Calls for salt reduction strategy by the government

Updated - August 14, 2018 02:41 pm IST

Published - August 14, 2018 02:39 pm IST - New Delhi

 Traditional salt pan farmer showing crystallized salt

Traditional salt pan farmer showing crystallized salt

Salt intake among adult Indians has been found to be high and exceeding the levels recommended by the World Health Organisation, according to a recent study conducted by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

Scientific evidence indicates that high dietary salt intake has detrimental effects on blood pressure and associated cardiovascular disease (CVD), said Dr Sailesh Mohan, additional professor at PHFI, who led the study. The study, which was conducted in Delhi, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh, covered around 1,395 adults in rural and urban areas.

The study found that salt intake in Delhi and Haryana was 9.5 gms per day and 10.4 gms per day in Andhra Pradesh as against less than 5 gms recommended by WHO. The researchers examined salt excretion by collecting 24 hours urine samples from the study participants over a period from 2016-17.

The researchers of the study reported that high salt intake requires a India-specific salt reduction strategy by the government to control the rising burden of high blood pressure or hypertension. Limited information is available on how to implement salt reduction in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) such as India, where the burden of hypertension and CVD is increasing rapidly.

Salt reduction programme

The researchers also interviewed various stakeholders from the government food industry, civil society and consumers to obtain their perspective on a potential salt reduction strategy for the country. “Most of the key stakeholders were agreeable to having a salt reduction programme in India to prevent and control hypertension and associated heart disease,” Dr Mohan said.

Few of the recommendations by the researchers, based on interviews with various stakeholders, were to generate awareness among consumers, promote salt reduction in processed food industry and implement consumer friendly food labelling. The current multi-sectoral action plan to reduce premature non-communicable diseases can provide a potential platform to implement salt reduction in India, he said. The findings have been published in PLOS ONE .

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.