Salt could increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and premature death when eaten in excess, according to a new report released by World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday.
The latest global report on sodium intake reduction shows that the world is off-track to achieve its global target of reducing sodium intake by 30 percent, by 2025.
"Sodium element, an essential nutrient, increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and premature death when eaten in excess," said the report.
"The global average intake is estimated to be approximately 10.8 grams per day, more than double the WHO recommendation of fewer than 5 grams, or one teaspoon, daily. The main source of sodium is table salt, but it is also contained in other condiments such as sodium glutamate," it explained.
The report further noted that eating too much makes it the top risk factor for diet and nutrition-related deaths.
"More evidence is emerging documenting links between high sodium intake and increased risk of other health conditions such as gastric cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, and kidney disease," the report added.
In response, WHO has called on all countries to implement plans for sodium reduction, and set ambitious sodium reduction targets in their products.
WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared.
commented on the report, saying: “Unhealthy diets are a leading cause of death and disease globally, and excessive sodium intake is one of the main culprits."
“This report shows that most countries are yet to adopt any mandatory sodium reduction policies, leaving their people at risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems,” he pointed out.