Journal article Open Access

Informing national salt reduction strategy

Obreja, Galina; Raevschi, Elena; Penina, Olga

Background: Excessive salt intake is associated with noncommunicable diseases, especially with hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Implementation of comprehensive and effective strategies can reduce salt intake and related disease burden. The aim of the present research was to analyse the current situation and existing evidence to inform national salt reduction strategy.

Material and methods: An analysis of current status of national salt reduction initiatives and hypertension prevention, as well as of scientific publications and governmental websites was done to identify the most effective interventions applicable in the Republic of Moldova.

Results: Four out of 10 individuals have raised blood pressure in the Republic of Moldova and the prevalence of hypertension and hypertension linked disease has tripled over the last 15 years. There is a strong link between salt consumption and hypertension. Currently, salt consumption in almost every country is too high. Three out of nine targets on noncommunicable disease prevention and control, which were internationally and nationally assumed, provide the baseline to reduce the salt intake in the Republic of Moldova. The main strategies applied in different combinations at the international level to reduce salt intake are regulations, food reformulation, food labelling, colour coding based on salt content, taxation and education campaigns.

Conclusions: The biggest reduction in salt consumption can be achieved by comprehensive multicomponent strategy involving legal measures, mandatory reformulation, nutritional labelling, efficient enforcement and a good leadership.

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