Sedentary lifestyle patterns and consumption of unhealthy diets have now become a leading cause of many lifestyle diseases. Not only do they lead to obesity, but also contribute majorly to various heart-related issues. Apart from oily and greasy foods, excessive salt consumption is also a major cause of concern for many health experts lately. According to a recent study published in the journal of Clinical Hypertension, The World Hypertension League and leading health organisations have warned supermarkets and restaurants to carry a front-of-pack, tobacco-style health warning on salt shakers.
Lead author Dr Norm Campbell, former President of the World Hypertension League, said it was time for a more hard-hitting approach to dietary salt reduction.
"Unhealthy diets are a leading cause of death globally and excess salt consumption is the biggest culprit, estimated to cause over 3 million deaths globally in 2017," said Dr Norm Campbell.
"The World Health Organisation established a target for countries to reduce sodium intake by 30% by 2025, and governments and the food industry have been working together to reduce salt in processed foods. However, urgent action now needs to be taken to raise consumer awareness of these dangers," added Dr Campbell.
"Although many countries have started to look at a variety of public health measures to encourage people to eat less salt, we're not aware of any that have required actual containers of salt to have warning labels," he said.
While salt is an intrinsic part of most of our dishes, excessive intake of it is said to cause rise in blood pressure levels, further causing a negative impact on overall health.
Jacqui Webster, Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on Population Salt Reduction at the George Institute for Global Health, commented, "Eating too much salt increases people's blood pressure which is one of the biggest contributors to premature death from stroke or heart disease."
While most countries require sodium levels on labels of processed foods, most of the time they are difficult to interpret for people and don't directly warn or convey of any health risks.
"Health warnings on salt package and dispensers would be a simple, cost-effective way of conveying the dangers of salt to billions of people worldwide," she added.
"Most people aren't aware that the amount of salt they are consuming is raising their blood pressure and shortening their lives," said Dr. Tom Frieden, President, and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies.
"Warning labels on packaged foods and menus can help people make healthier choices. Adding warning labels to all salt packaging is another way to make the healthy choice the easy choice," added Dr. Tom Frieden.