MOHW to study salt consumption among Jamaicans

3 years ago

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The Ministry of Health and Wellness’ study on salt consumption practices of Jamaicans, which is being undertaken in partnership with the Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR), is set to commence in the first quarter of next year.

The $13.5-million research project also involves collaboration with The University of the West Indies (UWI). It is intended to provide contextual information for the implementation of a National Salt Reduction Programme to reduce blood pressure and associated cardiovascular disease.

Portfolio Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure at the virtual launch of the LIFE Project on Tuesday at the UWI’s Mona campus in St Andrew.

The research project on salt consumption is aimed at estimating the dietary sodium content in commonly consumed packaged foods sold in supermarkets and food chain restaurants; conducting a baseline survey on current knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding salt intake in Jamaica, and estimating current levels of salt consumption.

Dr Tufton said that the Ministry is also looking at sugar consumption with the support of the National Health Fund (NHF), and work has already begun on trans-fat, salt and sugar with the University of Technology, among other stakeholders.
“Already, some 300 samples of commonly consumed foods have been sent to our labs at the Scientific Research Council (SRC) and the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) for testing. Once the results are in, we will publicly engage stakeholders on the setting of standards and targets in line with good public health policy,” he noted.