South Africa has the highest rate of hypertension in the world this is according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA.
With 6.3 million people living with high blood pressure, South Africa has one of the highest rates of hypertension worldwide. This makes South Africans more susceptible to life-threatening diseases like stroke and heart disease. Statistics show that about 130 heart attacks and 240 strokes occur daily in South Africa. This means that 10 people will suffer a stroke and five people will have a heart attack every hour -heartfoundation.co.za.
Talking to 702's John Robbie, Christelle Crickmore, head of science and programme (Nutrition) at Heart and Stroke Foundation, mentioned that salt is necessary and the human body definitely needs it however excessive intake can be dangerous.
Research has shown that half of the salt we consume is the salt we put into the food ourselves and the other half is from processed food— Christelle Crickmore
This week is salt awareness week and the Heart foundation is launching a new lobby group to alert South Africans to the fact that too much salt could be killing them.
In 2013, the minister of health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi signed legislation to reduce salt levels in certain foods. The regulations are to be in effect by the 30th of June 2016 when the food stuffs mentioned are offered for sale to consumers on or after the above date.
Listen to John Robbie's interview with Christelle Crickmore here...
But excessive salt intake is not the only health issue in South Africa. Research by the Global Burden of Disease, issued by The Lancet in 2014 shows ratings of 188 countries across the globe and South Africa ranked highly, as one of the most obese nations. [See Quinton Bronkhorst's The most fattening fast-food meals in SA] The article lists some of the popular South African fast-food chains and the amount of calories the food on their menus have.