Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When it Comes to Hypertension Salt reduction is Still a Major World Message

The World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) was established in 2005 and is a global group which exists to promote improvements in health within populations throughout the world by educating and striving to achieve a gradual reduction of salt intake. WASH play an active role in encouraging major multi-national food companies to reduce salt in their products and also work with governments, health authorities and other health promotion organisations highlighting the need for nation and world wide population salt reduction strategies. WASH has 361 members spread over 80 countries. Its members are primarily experts in the field of hypertension but many have other roles and professions, each member is dedicated to promoting salt reduction in their individual countries. WASH and its members are ne of the driving forces behind World Salt Awareness Week, a world-wide salt education and reduction initiative which in 2009 has been entitled ‘Salt and Eating Out’ and focused specifically on raising awareness of salt contents in take-away, restaurant and on-the-go foods. It has been known for people to say that salt is addictive although salt in itself is not addictive in the true sense of the word, but the body can create a taste or craving for foods high in salt. When eating a high salt diet, the taste buds become conditioned to this and then tend to then only react to heavily salted meals. Psychological attachments can then form and this is where the word ‘addiction’ (although still not accurate) becomes the most relevant. This could explain why so many people become hooked on the likes of fast foods such as McDonalds and takeaways such as pizzas and kebabs.World Health Organization (WHO) plays a very large part in salt education and reduction and stipulates that the maximum daily intake of salt should be no more than five grams. In fact, according to Dr. David Spence, the Director of Stroke Prevention and the Arthrosclerosis Research Centre at the Robarts Research Institute in Ontario, USA, the human body only needs half a gram of salt each day.[1]As we all know, too much salt is extremely detrimental to the human body and high salt-diets have been linked to increased risk of stomach cancer, osteoporosis, asthma, and especially to high blood pressure amongst other physical implications. The fact of the matter is, that reducing your salt intake could save your life and vastly reduce your chances of developing a serious, long-term illness or condition.The links between salt and hypertension (high blood pressure) specifically, are well known and documented which is why hypertension sufferers tend to be so wise on the subject and also careful about the levels of salt they consume within their diets. This group of condition sensitive hypertension sufferers are also the most likely to monitor their blood pressure levels at regular intervals using home blood pressure monitors.The use of home blood pressure monitors is becoming increasingly popular amongst hypertension sufferers as it allows for a more consistent and accurate readings and can help the sufferer to see the effects of persevering with medical treatments and lifestyle changes, making the condition and pressure readings more tangible.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------[1] Medical Plasters and Medical FurnitureSource:

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