The National Health Fund (NHF) is to capitalise on research by the Caribbean Institute for Health at the University of the West Indies (UWI), which is to conduct a study on Jamaicans’ salt consumption patterns to drive policy direction for the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW).
The research, titled, ‘Jamaica Salt Consumption, Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Study’, will be part of the ministry’s wider plans to help consumers to make better choices in food consumption, and reduce non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the population.
The research is to also guide the process by the MOHW to reduce Jamaicans’ salt intake to less than five grams per day for the typical adult, which is the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This is expected to reduce the island’s inhabitants developing NCDs, such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart and kidney diseases.
According to the chief researcher, Professor Trevor Ferguson, Director of the Epidemiology Research Unit at Caribbean Institute For Health, the overall aim of the project is to look at the baseline data on salt consumption in Jamaica, salt content in package and restaurant foods, and to evaluate knowledge, attitude and practices of Jamaicans regarding salt consumption.