RIYADH — A recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) highlights the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as one of the top countries in the world in reducing salt consumption and the first in the Arab world and region to enact legislation and measures to reduce excessive salt consumption.
The goal is to improve the nutritional value of food products and promote healthy nutrition patterns in society to maintain the health of citizens and residents.
The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has encouraged food producers and importers to reduce the salt content of 24 food items by adopting “maximum guideline standards for salt in food products.”
The authority has also imposed several regulations on food producers and importers, the most significant of which is establishing a mandatory limit for the salt content in all types of bread of “one gram per 100 grams of bread” and a mandatory limit for the amount of salt in infant and child food as well as milk drinks not to exceed “one gram per 100 milliliters.”
The SFDA is conducting field studies and creating strategies to gradually reduce per capita salt consumption through several stages. This is in response to the chronic diseases caused by salt consumption, which is believed to be a major contributor to high blood pressure and the subsequent strokes and heart diseases that cause death.
According to recent reports from international organizations, the Middle East has extremely high rates of salt consumption, with an average per capita consumption of more than 12 grams per day. Countries are advised to take necessary steps to gradually and moderately reduce salt consumption to 5 grams per day to improve public health. — SPA