|One of the bus stop messages which is urging Barbadians to cut down on salt. (A. Miller/BGIS)|
The National Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Commission’s Salt Reduction Campaign has been so successful, "that it has put pressure on some manufacturers to reduce the sodium in their products".??
Senior Health Promotion Officer, Denise Carter-Taylor, made this point yesterday at the public launch of one of two bus shelters branded with the message – Cut Down on Salt.?? They are located opposite JB’s Super Centre in Sargeant’s Village, Christ Church, and Carlton Supermarket in Black Rock, St. Michael, and portray the message that sodium, or salt, is a silent killer.
??"This pressure has come from the public, not necessarily from the Ministry of Health, to reduce the salt in manufactured products.?? We are also asking them, when they see the ads to heed the messages, think about their diet and reduce the amount of salt that they consume," she said.
Senior Medical Officer of Health (NCDs), Dr. Kenneth George, revealed that as part of the on-going Health of the Nation Study, the Ministry was trying to estimate the quantity of salt in the average Barbadian’s diet.??
"This is a very novel initiative.?? We are doing a random sample to test how much salt is excreted in their urine.?? Salt is directly linked to hypertension, coronary artery disease and stroke.?? So, that is what we are trying to prevent," he stated, noting that the data should be available in six months.
This is the first time a study of this type has been conducted in the Caribbean.
Salt is the major cause of hypertension or high blood pressure in Barbadians. Local statistics show that some 54,000 persons suffer with the illness, and of that number, only 30 per cent are well controlled.??