The positive benchmark by WHO have been set for 18 categories and 97 sub-categories of foods. The WHO has, by means of these benchmarks, set out its expectations of the business to cut back sodium / salt levels.
This in response to the 2011 Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of non-communicable illnesses (NCD).
This declaration emphasized the business’s function in prevention and management of NCDs by:
- Producing foods according to a nutritious diet.
- Reducing the influence of selling of unhealthy foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children.
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The methods recognized for the business to do it are — reformulation of meals to decrease sodium focus and sodium / salt content material labelling.
In this path, the WHO engaged with the food business to agree on the significance of growing such benchmarks for various product categories and make sure that the products have the identical sodium / salt content material throughout all nations.
It is claimed that these benchmarks will assist nations to set nationwide policies and act as a basis for ongoing dialogue between the WHO and the personal sector on the international degree.
The information, to reach on the thresholds, had been collected on sodium / salt targets set in 41 nations — this included the WHO African region, the WHO region of the Americas, the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region, the WHO European region and the WHO Western Pacific region. The WHO South East Asia region, of which India is part of, has not been included within the evaluation. In reality, that is the one WHO region overlooked.
The benchmarks have been set utilizing the present nationwide or regional targets. The nation that had the lowest maximum value of the goal from among the many selected 41, was set as a worldwide benchmark for that subcategory of food. The rationale given is that feasibility for these targets has been demonstrated.
The WHO recommends that people eat lower than 5 grams of salt (or lower than two grams of sodium) per day.
The World Health Assembly, in 2013, adopted the goal of a 30 per cent reduction in mean population intake of sodium / salt, as a part of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013–2020.
The WHO, with these benchmarks, has known as for accelerated motion from all member states in scaling up their efforts to cut back their populations’ sodium / salt consumption as these are stated to function a reference for ongoing nationwide and regional efforts and initiatives.
But the query arises: Are these international benchmarks appropriate within the Indian context when even the information from this region was not considered in setting the benchmarks?
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