BUENOS AIRES – Restaurants in Buenos Aires province, Argentina’s richest and most densely populated, have agreed to take salt shakers off their tables to help combat high blood pressure.
The Buenos Aires Health Ministry launched this initiative with an accord supported not only by those in the restaurant business but by the provincial bakers’ union, whose members will make and promote products low in sodium.
Out of a total population of 15.6 million, some 3.7 million inhabitants of Buenos Aires province suffer from high blood pressure, the chief cause of strokes and one of the main contributing factors to the risk of cardiovascular disease, the Buenos Aires Health Ministry said.
Under the terms of the agreement signed with the FEHGRA hotel and restaurant trade association, restaurants in the province will only provide a salt shaker to the customer who expressly asks for one after tasting the dish he ordered.
“On average, every Argentine consumes 13 grams (1/2 ounce) of salt per day, according to the World Health Organization, though they should use less than 5 grams (1/5 ounce). If throughout the province we could lower daily consumption by 3 grams (1/10 ounces) we would prevent 2,000 deaths a year, above all from strokes,” Buenos Aires Health Minister Alejandro Collia said. EFE