The Ministry of Health is urging residents of Antigua and Barbuda to decrease the amount of salt they consume, and it is focusing on mothers of school-aged children.
This is being done as part of the ministry’s healthy living campaign.
“We are working with mothers and school children,” said the Ministry’s non-communicable disease coordinator and head of the Ministry’s Wellness Committee, Valarie Williams to OBSERVER media yesterday.
Individuals are being encouraged by the ministry to eat more home cooked meals rather than processed food and cooked food bought from restaurants.
Williams said this is because you don’t know the amount of salt that is added in the meals that you buy from restaurants and cook shops.
Processed foods are foods that have been treated or prepared by a special method in order to preserve them.
“We have been going to parent-teachers meetings, telling them why they need to reduce salt intake,” said Williams.
Williams said the ministry does surveys to find out how many people know about salt intake and how much salt they consume daily.
“A lot of the snacks and food that children are being fed are high in salt. We work with parents, trying to show them how they can use natural seasonings to cook rather than salt,” Williams stated.
A major part of the campaign is teaching people how to read labels, cultivating a culture in Antigua where individuals regularly check food labels to see how much salt and other substances are included in the food item.
“We meet with children in various schools regularly, checking their height, weight, blood pressure and doing other tests,” said Williams.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)