Ministry takes action to cut public sodium intake
The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry (MFALI) kicked off the Measure to Support Low-Salt Products Production on Thursday in an effort to moderate the average sodium intake of the public.
The measure will be carried out in the next two years and is aimed to reduce sodium content in products, develop a standard and regulation on sodium usage, and encourage the public to consume less salt for the sake of their health and longevity.
More than 150 representatives from MFALI, Ministry of Health and other entities took part in Thursday’s introductory session of the measure.
WHO guidelines recommend salt intake of less than five grams per day for adults to reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and coronary heart attack. However, most Mongolians consume 2.5 times more salt than the recommended maximum level of intake, specifically 11.5 to 11.5 grams per day on average, according to B.Enkhtungalag, a nutritionist at the National Public Health Center.
B.Enkhtungalag stated that people living in different provinces have different levels of salt intake a day. For example, people living in Uvs, Khovd and Bayan-Ulgii provinces consume 15 grams of salt a day, while people living in Dornod and Sukhbaatar consume 7.7 grams a day.
“Exactly 77 percent of total deaths among the population is caused by non communicable disease, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and brain stroke, which are attributed to high sodium intake. Based on this, it’s absolutely necessary to reduce the daily sodium intake of the public,” she said.
Public and private organizations are reportedly working together on the Measure to Support LowSalt Products Production, initiating new actions to achieve the government target to lower sodium intake by 30 percent by the year 2025.
“To achieve this target, sodium content in public food and industrially-made food products must decrease by 40 percent. The private sector has been actively sharing ideas in this direction. For instance, Talkh Chikher Company cut sodium content in 10 types of products in 2011. Makh Market Company lowered the sodium content in three types of product by 40 to 60 percent in 2014. Good practices like these need to be shared with other companies,” B.Enkhtungalag noted.