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People in Delhi consume more salt than what has been recommended by the WHO
A study conducted in Delhi and Haryana has found out that people in these two states consume 3 grams of salt more than what is recommended by the WHO. People of these two states consume 8 gm of salt each day against WHO recommendation of 5 gm.

The study conducted by George Institute for Global Health has also found out that high intake of sodium remains seventh leading cause of mortality globally and is responsible for 1.65 million deaths per year. The study has also said that a public education campaign in India on the dangers posed by the increase in salt intake could really change behaviour of the people.

"The assessment showed that overall urinary excretion of salt was estimated to be around 8.59 gm/day in Delhi-NCR, while it was 9.46 gm/day in Andhra Pradesh. The intake was highest in the urban slums followed by rural areas. Another interesting finding from the survey was that majority of participants knew about the maximum salt consumption recommendation as less than 5 gm/day and almost 90 per cent of the participants were aware that excess salt in the diet can lead to serious health concerns," the study said.

It noted that people who were aware of the dangers of high salt intake had lower salt levels but awareness is also restricted noting that 24 per cent of the products that had salt content did not have any nutrition information, thus failing the standards set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

The study titled 'The Association of Knowledge and Behaviours Related to Salt with 24-h Urinary Salt Excretion in a Population from North and South India' has also found out that salt intake was higher in men as compared to women.

The study with a sample 1395 subjects aimed mainly to understand the consumption pattern of salt and understand the behaviour and knowledge of consumers.

"Raised blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for global mortality and is estimated to have caused 9.4 million deaths and 7 per cent of disease burden - as measured in DALYs - in 2010. The survey indicates that education can be a key factor in bringing about a behaviour change among people and influence their salt consumption pattern. For this, we need a robust multi-stakeholder system to chalk out the necessary steps to reduce the risk due to consumption of salt," Business Standard quoted Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director, George Institute for Global Health, India.

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