The world is consuming too much salt, and the outcome could be dire, the World Health Organization said. A new report from WHO found that the world is not on track to reduce its sodium intake.
The world is not on track to achieve the goal of a 30 percent reduction in sodium intake by 2025, the report found.
And if the world does not take drastic steps to reduce salt intake quickly, it could lead to millions of unnecessary deaths.
Unhealthy diets not only contribute to the obesity crisis but are also likely to contain higher sodium, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and premature death when eaten in excess.
The global report on sodium intake reduction claims that up to seven million lives could be saved in the next decade by enacting cost-effective policies.
The World Health Organization developed the report to monitor progress and identify areas for action in the implementation of sodium reduction policies and other measures within Member States and across WHO regions and World Bank income groups.
For the first time, a Sodium Country Score from 1, the lowest level, to 4, the highest level, is allocated to each Member State based on the level of implementation of sodium reduction policies and other measures.
The Sodium Country Score is used to estimate the impact of policy progress on population dietary sodium intake and cardiovascular disease.
The main source of sodium is table salt or sodium chloride, but it is also contained in other compounds such as sodium glutamate.
On average, global salt intake is estimated to be 10.8 grams per day, more than double the WHO recommendation of less than 5 grams per day, which is the equivalent of one teaspoon.
The WHO report shows that only 3 percent of the world’s population is protected by laws that enforce sodium reduction in meals. Only nine countries have a comprehensive package of recommended policies to reduce sodium intake: Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Uruguay.