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How salt consumption is killing Nigerians, by CAPPA

A cross-section of participants in a photograph.

. CAPPA wants legislation to regulate excess salt consumption

‘Nigeria currently records an estimated daily salt consumption reaching up to 5.8 grams per day, which exceeds the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended limit of two grams of sodium daily’

By Valentine Amanze

The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), a civil society organization, has said that Nigerians were dying steadily over excess consumption of salt / sodium.

CAPPA also called for a legislation to reverse the trend, while lamenting that Nigeria currently records an estimated daily salt consumption reaching up to 5.8 grams per day, which exceeds the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended limit of two grams of sodium daily or less than five grams of salt per day – just one teaspoon of salt daily.

CAPPA Executive Director, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, made the revelation in his speech at the Journalism Training on “Salt Reduction” in Lagos on Thursday, April 4, 2024.

The CAPPA boss said that it was worrisome that Nigeria was currently grappling with a huge burden of non- communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, caused by salty food, which result in death and disability.

Sea salt in jute sack. Vector illustration

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Oluwafemi also said that hypertension, mainly caused by an increased intake of salt or sodium, accounts for 12% of deaths in Nigeria.

“With high consumption of salt, Nigeria is currently grappling with a huge burden of non- communicable diseases (NCDs).

“Our role as a health-focused civil society organization is to help the public understand the dangers of their choices, especially when consumption is driven by a gap in knowledge, when it comes to food. We also constantly engage with government to put in place the relevant legislation to protect Nigerians,” Oluwafemi said.

The CAPPA boss, however, called on journalists to play a vital role in the campaign against salty food to achieve the necessary salt reduction target for a healthy nation.

“You also have an obligation to help Nigerians understand the gimmicks of the food production industry that promote unhealthy foods as the norm,” Olufemi told journalists.

On the effect of the advocacy on industries and manufacturers,  Dr Jerome Mefeni, who spoke on “Salt Consumption in Nigeria and the Need for policy intervention,” said that it would not have any negative effect on them.

He said that health of Nigerians was more important than the profit the industries declare periodically.

Mefeni also appealed to Nigerians to embrace local spices and avoid salt for healthy living.

The event was packaged by CAPPA and Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI). valoa2000@yahoo.com

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