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Reducing use of salt

The National Non-Communicable Disease Commission has embarked on phase two of its salt reduction campaign and, as part of this drive, has sponsored two bus shelters with the message, Cut Down on Salt.

They are located opposite JB’s Super Centre in Sargeants Village, Christ Church and Carlton Supermarket in Black Rock, St. Michael.

Project Manager for the multi-sectoral, advisory commission, Sheena Warner-Edwards, explained that the message portrayed is similar to that of the jingle produced and performed by Patrick Salt Bellamy.

“The two shelters portray the message that sodium, or what we commonly refer to as salt, is a silent killer and reducing its use, plays a central role in controlling blood pressure. Salt is the major cause of hypertension or high blood pressure, so this is particularly important to Barbadians, since figures show that some 54,000 persons suffer with the illness and of that number, only 30 per cent are well controlled. So, the message is critical for our population,” Warner-Edwards pointed out.

Earlier this year, Chairman of the commission, Professor Trevor Hassell, indicated that the top 10 food sources of salt in Barbados, according to a pilot study carried out by the Chronic Disease Research Centre include; chicken soup, rotis, salt bread, coconut bread, fish and macaroni pie.

Other media are also being utilised by the commission to persuade Barbadians to reduce their salt intake and eat healthier foods.

Further initiatives to encourage Barbadians to pay more attention to maintaining a healthier lifestyle included the production of a booklet titled Battling Salt – the Hidden Enemy, three advertisements created in collaboration with the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited to promote the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables and physical activity; and the Bellamy produced radio jingle, See Salt and Don’t See Salt, aired during International Salt Awareness Week in late March.

Warner-Edwards stressed that the commission was doing a great deal of work in terms of risk factor reduction, advocacy, and education and was forming key partnerships to raise awareness about NCD issues.

The commission, formed in 2008, includes members of the medical profession, trade union, Ministry of Agriculture, non-governmental organisations, the education sector, as well as representatives from the private sector.

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