Kids to be educated about harmful effects of high salt intake

Thursday, Mar 23, 2017,13:02 IST By anju A A A

New Delhi | A pilot programme involving 15,000 schoolchildren to educate them about the harmful effects of high salt intake will soon be launched, a global health body today said.

“In order to create awareness about salt consumption among children and to determine whether an education programme targeted at schoolchildren will help in lowering the salt intake in them as well as their families, the institute plans to extend their National Salt Reduction Programme to children,” the George Institute for Global Health, India said.

As part of this programme, a pilot will be conducted across 15,000 schoolchildren in Delhi and Hyderabad to educate them about the harmful effects of high salt intake and the risk of contracting lifestyle diseases at a young age.

“In India, we are fighting against habits which are deep-rooted. Unmonitored lifestyle, easy access to packaged food full of salt, sugars and harmful fats are responsible for the high prevalence of lifestyle diseases.

“Educating children early in life on the ill effects of high salt usage can help them make healthy dietary choices early in life,” said Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director, the George Institute for Global Health, India.

Various studies on the salt intake of children and adolescents in developed countries have reported that salt intakes are high and above the WHO recommendation.

Salt intake among schoolchildren in India has increased due to greater consumption of fast foods, salty snacks, processed and street foods, the institute said.

Processed and junk foods are affordable and accessible which attracts children easily and the preference for salty food among children is established very early due to change in the dietary patterns, it added.