14 Thousand tons of sodium were taken from processed foods
Health Agency - In four years of operation, the agreement between the Ministry of Health and the Association of Food Industries (Abia) has enabled the withdrawal of 14,893 tonnes of sodium from food products. The reduction is equivalent to 3,723 trucks loaded with salt.
The goal is that, by 2020, the industries of the sector will promote the voluntary withdrawal of 28,562 tons of salt from the Brazilian market. The data are the results of the first three phases of the agreement, which began in April 2011, and were presented on Wednesday (28) by Health Minister Ricardo Barros and Abia president Edmund Kloz. From now on, the Ministry of Health and Abia have begun discussions on a new partnership, this time to reduce sugar in processed foods.
In the third phase of the sodium reduction agreement, which included margarines, morning cereals , broths (gel and cubes) and seasonings ready, 94.5% of the 22 analyzed companies reached the target. The highest reduction was observed in seasonings, with a fall of 16.35% followed by margarine with 7.12%. Other categories also recorded fall: morning cereals (5.2%), broths and powdered cubes (4.9%), pasta seasonings (1.77%), rice seasoning (6.03%). Liquid and gel liquids were the only category that had an increase in sodium concentration (8.84%).
The first step involved instant noodles, bread form and bisnaguinha. The second, cakes, snacks (straw potatoes and corn chips), mayonnaise and biscuits. The agreement provides for another stage involving embedded products.
Hypertension is a serious problem in Brazil
Although it is still considered high, the number of Brazilians with hypertension in the country has remained stable, according to data from Vigitel 2015. In the year the disease affected 24.9% of the country's population, and in 2004, this percentage was 24.8%. Women are the majority in this scenario and account for 27.3% of cases, while men account for 22% of cases. The hypertensive ones grow with the advancement of the age and also with the reduction of the schooling. In the capitals, Palmas has the lowest number of hypertensives in the country, with 15.7%, and Rio de Janeiro the largest, with 30.6% of people with hypertension.
According to Vigitel, the Brazilian still has a small perception about excess salt consumption, which can be observed with the fact that only 14.9% of the population considers their consumption of salt too high. It is worth mentioning that, according to the 2008 Household Budgets Survey (POF / IBGE), the Brazilian consumption of sodium exceeds by more than twice the WHO recommended limit of five grams per day. The national average is 12 grams. Still according to the POF, 70% of the Brazilian population consumes excess sodium.
Reduction of sodium in processed foods is an action that alerts the population to salt consumption at meal times and the choice of products on gondolas of supermarkets. Excessive sodium intake is a risk factor for the development of chronic noncommunicable diseases, which currently account for 72% of deaths in Brazil. With the reduction of excessive consumption of salt, it will be possible to reduce up to 15% deaths from stroke, 10% from infarction, according to calculations of the Brazilian Society of Cardiology. As a result, more than 1.5 million people will be free of hypertension medication, in addition to adding four years in the life expectancy of hypertensive individuals.
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