MANY Hongkongers are risking their health by consuming salt and sugar at levels above those recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO, 世界衛生組織), experts warn.
Centre for Food Safety (CFS, 食物安全中心) consultant Ho Yuk-yin (何玉賢) said the average Hongkonger (香港人 ) consumes about nine to 12 grams of salt a day – more than twice WHO’s recommended five grams maximum. Too much salt can cause serious health problems such as stroke, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.
And then there is sugar. “CFS estimates nearly 30 percent of people in Hong Kong (香港) consume more than 50g of sugar per day, the level set by WHO,” Ho said.
He added the government has set up an international advisory panel to promote reduction of dietary sodium and sugar in Hong Kong. A panel member, professor Graham MacGregor, urged the government to gradually cut the salt content of common products.
“Ordinary soya sauce has salt content from that of seawater to four times the concentration of seawater. Why would you want to put something on your food that has four times the concentration of seawater? They’re the main source of salt in Hong Kong,” he said.
Ho said obesity should also not be overlooked. An excessive intake of sugar will “affect our body weight, and increase the risk of dental cavities”, he added.