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Adding extra salt to food could reduce life expectancy by more than two years, study finds

Aged 50 and over, men can lose the equivalent of two and a half years in their lives due to eating extra salt, and women of similar to them could be slowed down in their lifespan by about a year and a half the study concluded.

Salty eaters who add additional salt on their meals are at chance of dying young new research has discovered.

A study of over 500 000 people found that those who do not add seasoning to their diet have a 28% increased risk of dying prematurely as compared to those who add it only occasionally or never.

Typically , around three per 100 people between the ages of 40 and 69 are prematurely ill in the entire population.

The study, that was published in European Heart Journal, found an additional one person per 100 is at risk of early death due to salt added to the diet.

The 50-year-olds of the population are likely to lose about 2.28 year of lives due to eating extra salt, a study has established.

The same age women could have their life expectancy lowered by a full year.

More than 18,500 premature deaths (under 75) were reported in a follow-up study nine years following the data had been taken between 2006 and.

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The study was conducted by Prof. Lu Qi, of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans in the US.

Professor Qi who collaborated with other colleagues at the Harvard medical school, stated: “In the Western diet adding salt to the table can account for anywhere from 6% to 20 percent of the total amount of salt consumed and offers a unique approach to determine the connection between the consumption of sodium in a regular manner as well as the likelihood of dying.”

Even just a “modest cut” on sodium consumption may lead to “substantial positive health effects” according to Professor Qi stated.

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The study considered variables that may influence the findings, such as race, age, sex and deprivation. Other factors included (BMI) smoking, eating habits and physical activity, in addition to health conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

The risk of premature death due to salt intake were reduced slightly in those who consumed more fruits and vegetables. However, the differences were small and not “significant”.

“Because this study was the very first one to show the connection between salt added to food and death, more studies are required to confirm the results before making any recommendations,” Dr Qi said.

British Heart Foundation senior cardiac nurse Chloe MacArthur warned how the “vast majority of salt” is already present in food products before they are bought which means that consumers consume extra salt than they realize. She demanded that ministers find ways to get manufacturers of foods to cut back on salt.

“We need salt in our diets However, eating too much can cause elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of having a heart stroke and attack” she explained.

The National Food Strategy, a important review conducted by a restauranteur and businessman Henry Dimbleby, included recommendations for a sugar and salt tax in an effort to curb the prevalence of obesity.


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