Educating children to reduce salt consumption in India
Lifestyle diseases develop silently through our unconscious habits and behavior affecting our physical health and well-being in the long run. One such habit is eating high SALT in our daily diet. This behavior contributes to raised blood pressure in children and young adults alike. In the long run, it causes chronic diseases that would have been easily prevented had we taken a simple health message seriously, 'Take no more than 5 grams of salt a day'
Recognize the problem
Many studies have proven the link between raised blood pressure, hypertension and cardiac problems.
A continuous intake of high salt in diet raises blood pressure in adults as well as children thus resulting in hypertension and other cardiac-related problems.
We want people to recognize this challenge that faces all of us – a challenge so common, yet most of us do not acknowledge it. Also, it goes without saying that it is important to catch people young as dietary habits are developed in childhood and can be quite difficult to modify later on in life.
Children needs to be made aware of the permissible levels of salt consumption and the harmful effects of going beyond these limits.
This would help them develop dietary practices that can prevent diseases later on in life. One way to do this is to create an awareness of salt-related health issues among them so that they get a good knowledge of food sources high in sodium and the recommended alternatives and actions to take.
We have been working on a salt reduction program reaching out to various people with the message of the health impact of high salt intake. As part of this program:
We plan to raise funds for launching a pilot study reaching out to 15,000 school children in Delhi and Hyderabad.
We would educate school children about the harmful effects of high salt intake and the risks of contracting lifestyle diseases.The objective is to bring a shift in their behavior in terms of reduced salt consumption, in turn also sending the message to their family members.
Educating children on salt consumption will help current and future generations and save millions of lives.
We are fighting habits that are deep rooted. A rigid lifestyle, lack of awareness and over -exposure to packaged products high in salt and available in market make the task difficult, though not impossible.
The pilot study aims to gather concrete evidence on how this proposed intervention will benefit children’s health outcomes. Under the guidance of our researchers, the program will be able to show a marked difference between the situation before the intervention and after thus proving that reducing salt can make a concrete difference to health outcomes.