MOH To Introduce Measures To Curb Singaporeans’ Excessive Salt Consumption
It’s no secret that Singaporeans love food. Most of the country’s iconic food choices are usually filled with robust flavours.
Salt is an essential ingredient to achieve these flavours. However, indulging in too much salt comes with health risks.
According to Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Health (MOH) Ms Rahayu Mahzam, Singaporeans consume almost twice the daily recommended intake of salt.
A high salt intake can lead to dire consequences for our health. As a result, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will be introducing measures to reduce Singaporeans’ intake of salt.
Singaporeans are eating too much salt
During MOH’s Committee of Supply debate in Parliament on Wednesday (9 Mar), Ms Rahayu said the salt intake for Singaporeans had increased drastically.
Residents in Singapore have been, on average, consuming at least 3,600mg of sodium every day.
This translates to more than 1.5 teaspoons a day and almost double the World Health Organization’s recommended limit of less than 2,000mg daily.
Consuming excessive salt can lead to various health issues, as noted by Ms Rahayu during her speech.
“High sodium intake is associated with increased risk of hypertension,” she said, “which is in turn associated with higher risks of cardiovascular complications such as stroke and heart attack.”
Ms Rahayu also cited research showing that more than a third of Singaporeans aged 18 to 74 experienced hypertension from 2019 to 2020.
MOH to introduce measures to curb salt intake
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), the food service sector is one of the major contributors to Singaporeans’ consumption of high-sodium salt.
MOH noted that this impact is expected to grow as more Singaporeans eat out.
Therefore, MOH has announced a three-pronged strategy to tackle this habit of excessive salt consumption:
- replacing salt additives in food with lower-sodium, healthier alternatives
- increasing the range and variety of lower-sodium salt, sauces and seasonings, spurring ‘reformulation of lower-sodium sauces and seasonings’
- educating the public on the adverse consequences of excessive salt consumption and healthier alternatives.
For the 3rd strategy, the ministry will embark on an islandwide campaign spanning multiple years.
Reduce your salt intake & eat healthily
While we may love eating out, it is important to take care of our health first. Being in good shape ensures that we can minimise the possibility of any health risk.
The first step to a healthy lifestyle is practising healthy eating habits. Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in our diets goes a long way in ensuring a sustainable livelihood.
With MOH’s new measures to come, hopefully, all of us can begin to have a healthier way of life.
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Featured image adapted from MCI Singapore and New York Magazine.
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