Uzbeks consume three times more salt than the level recommended by the World Health Organization, Deputy Head of the Authority for Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health Nurmat Atabekov said, speaking at a briefing at the Information and Mass Communications Agency.
“Studies conducted in collaboration with WHO among the Uzbeks aged 18 to 64 showed that the average daily salt intake among Uzbeks is 14.9 grams, which is three times the recommended amount, which should not exceed 5 grams per day,” he said.
Excess of salt in body retains fluid: 1 gram of sodium, which salt consists of, retains a whole glass of water, which leads to edema.
“Sodium pulls water, because of this, the volume of blood circulating in the vessels increases. COnsequently, blood pressure rises, and edema occurs in tissues," dietitian Gulchekhra Khasanova said.
Its excess is especially dangerous in the conditions of kidney and the cardiovascular system, because salt prevents the breakdown of fats.
“With an excess of salt, we gain excess weight, which is harmful to the heart, and salt also makes the inner surface of blood vessels loose and susceptible to cholesterol deposition and the formation of atherosclerotic plaque,” he clarified.
According to Nurmat Atabekov, now half of the population of Uzbekistan is overweight, with 20% obese, and 46% having high blood cholesterol levels.
With excessive salt intake, the body excretes sodium in the urine, along with which calcium is also excreted. “Calcium deficiency in the body leads to osteoporosis – the bones become less strong and more brittle,” explained Gulchekhra Khasanova.
Nurmat Atabekov in his remarks also noted that two-thirds of the population (67%) aged 18-64 consume less vegetables and fruits than the daily norm (400 grams).