January 18, 2016 10:35
Koreans' daily intake of salt has dropped in recent years, according to a report released last week.
According to the report by the Korea Food and Drug Administration, the average daily intake of salt fell from 4,831 mg in 2010 to 3,890 mg in 2014. It is the first time the figure has dropped below 4,000mg since a similar survey began in 1998.
A decrease in the sodium content of processed foods was the biggest reason for the drop.
"In 2011 we launched a campaign to reduce salt consumption while raising awareness of health risks caused by excessive intake of sodium. That led to increased interest in healthy eating, and a number of catering businesses and restaurant chains have joined the cause," said a KFDA official.
The drop in daily salt intake has contributed to a decline in the prevalence of hypertension. After peaking at 29 percent of the population in 2012, the proportion was reduced to 25.5 percent in 2014.
Excessive sodium intake can cause a variety of chronic diseases including hypertension, stroke and osteoporosis. "We still have a long way to go to reach the daily recommended consumption of 2,000 mg of sodium set by the World Health Organization," said KFDA researcher Yoon Eun-kyung.
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