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A school based education programme to reduce salt intake in children and their families

Centre of Environmental and Preventive Medicine

Group: NDSCR
Project Investigator: Graham MacGregor

Overview

Cardiovascular disease including strokes, heart attacks and heart failure, is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Raised blood pressure (also called hypertension), is a major cause of cardiovascular disease.

A high salt consumption increases blood pressure.

Although hypertension and cardiovascular disease are not common in children, they originate in childhood.

The current salt intake in children in most countries around the world is very high as it is in adults.

Our project is to determine whether an education programme aimed at primary school children can lower salt intake in children and their families.

The study is being carried out in Changzhi, northern China where salt intake is high.

During the study, we will educate children on how to reduce salt intake. Children will be asked to persuade their families, particularly the person who does the cooking to reduce the amount of salt used during food preparations at home.

If this study is successful, it will lower salt intake in both children and adults.

For adults, this will have an immediate benefit on reducing the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack.

For children, a lower salt intake may prevent the development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease when they grow older.

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