Too much salt can worsen weight woes

Too much salt can worsen weight woes.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2006 19:03 IST

If you are trying to shed those extra pounds keep a check on your salt intake too, for a research has revealed that too much salt can add several kilos to your weight.

The study reports that increasing intakes of sodium (salt) obligatorily produce a progressive increase in thirst. The progressive increase in the average intake of salt explains the observed t increase in the intake of beverages, which in turn, has caused a marked net increase in the intake of calories during the same period in the United States.

In a decade from 1976-1980 to 1988-1994 the prevalence of obesity increased 61% among men and 52% among women. During 1999 to 2002, the prevalence of obesity was 120% higher among men and 99% higher among women as compared with the 1976 to 1980 figures.

The increased intake of salt, through induction of thirst with increased intake of high-energy beverages has obviously remarkably contributed to the increase of obesity in the United States.

Contrary to earlier studies that salt reduction does not produce any overall health benefits, a study published in the journal "Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases" has revealed that 30-35% reduction in salt intake is associated with a dramatic 75% to 80% decrease in both stroke and coronary heart disease mortality.

Professors, Dr. Heikki Karppanen of the University of Helsinki and Dr. Eero Mervaala of the University of Kuopio report that the most powerful explaining factor for the favourable changes was the more than 10 mmHg ("point") decrease in the average blood pressure of the population.

A marked decrease in the average cholesterol levels of the population also remarkably contributed to the decrease of heart diseases. The extensive use of drugs contributed less than 10% of the observed decreases in blood pressure, cholesterol, and cardiovascular diseases.

"To our surprise, the sales figures of the American Salt Institute divulged that salt intake increased more than 50% in USA during 15 years from mid-1980s to the late 1990s", says Professor Karppanen.

The study reports that the prevalence of high blood pressure, which had long shown a decreasing trend, turned to a marked increase concomitantly with the increase in salt intake.

First Published: Nov 03, 2006 06:00 IST