“The average daily salt intake was 10.98 grams per day for Indians aged above 19 against the WHO recommendation of 5 gm,” the institute said in a statement.
The study, published recently in the Journal of Hypertension, pointed out that salt consumption was higher in southern and eastern states of India.
Tripura topped the country with an average salt intake of around 14 grams — almost three times the WHO daily recommendation. Interstingly, there was no difference in salt consumption between urban and rural population.
Over the past 30 years the average Indian diet has been transformed. They are eating less pulses, fruits and vegetables and lots more processed and fast foods. As a result, their diets are now full of salt, sugars and harmful fats which are driving up rates of high blood pressure, obesity and cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke, study lead author Claire Johnson said.
According to Vivek Jha, utive Director of the George Institute for Global Health, India, the country has to step up its efforts to meet its WHO targets of a 30 per cent reduction in salt consumption by 2025.
We need a country-wide educational programme teaching people about how to reduce the salt in their diet. It can be done but it needs investment and it needs to be made a priority given our rapidly rising levels of cardio vascular disease and high blood pressure, Jha said.
The study reviewed data involving 227,000 people across the country.