Turkish Health Ministry signed protocol to cut salt and sugar in food

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Through the protocol signed between the Turkish Ministry of Health and pastry shops and restaurants, the amount of salt and sugar in food will be respectively reduced by 4% and 5%.

Health Ministry, Pastry Shops and Restaurants Federation of Turkey and All Pastry Shops and Restaurants Confederation signed the protocol to reduce use of excessive salt and sugar.

“We have to establish an efficient, equitable and sustainable framework, encouraging everyone for healthy lifestyles. Only then we may have a health system meeting all needs of our citizens” said Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca in his speech.

Stating their targets to achieve the highest level in all basic health indicators including maternal and infant mortality, vaccination and chronic diseases, Dr. Koca added “mitigating the burden of chronic diseases is only possible through adoption of the healthy lifestyles by all society. We are talking about two measures to maintain a healthy life, which are physical activity and healthy diet. As the Ministry of Health, we advise 10 thousand steps per day but we, unfortunately, fall behind this goal. Also healthy diet is very important to prevent cancer, diabetics, hypertension, kidney failure, stroke and cardiovascular diseases. It is only possible to be protected from such diseases by maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.

Healthy diet means, in the first sense, whether the food is beneficial or not. However, what we mean is beyond this. Healthy diet should cover consuming foods-drinks which are enough to meet daily needs of our bodies. We should also pay attention not to intake excessive salt, sugar or oil. Daily consumption of salt per person was 18 grams in 2018, we managed to decrease it to 9.9 gram. However, it is still the twofold of the amount recommended by the World Health Organization. The recommended daily amount is 5 grams, which corresponds to only a tea spoon of salt.”

Concerning the considerable increase in the number of obesity cases all around the world, Health Minister said that one out of three adults has obesity and one out of three adults are overweight.

Obesity causes cardiovascular diseases, diabetics, hypertension, cancer, muscular system disorders and many other problems, resulting in decreasing the life quality and even death, and the main reason of obesity is having diet with very high calories. And the high calories are caused by excessive intake of sugar and salt. Therefore, it is very important to reduce the amount of sugar and salt in foods. It is also a very critical way of ensuring prevention of diseases.     

“As Ministry of Health, we came together with Pastry Shops and Restaurants Federation of Turkey and All Pastry Shops and Restaurants Confederation. Through the protocol, we will reduce the amount of salt and sugar respectively by 4% and 5% every year. Representatives of the Federation promised us to follow this process. We are making a very important step for health of our future generations. We have started a full-scale struggle against salt and sugar poisoning our children and youth gradually. Members of the federation and confederation will decrease the amount of sugar and salt in their products merely on voluntary basis. We will present a certificate to the enterprises that support this initiative” said Dr. Koca and concluded his words. 

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Updated: 01/03/2019