Date
21 September 2017
Each cup of instant noodles contains more sodium than the suggested daily limit, according to a dietitian. Photo: Bloomberg
Each cup of instant noodles contains more sodium than the suggested daily limit, according to a dietitian. Photo: Bloomberg

Govt to curb Hong Kong appetite for sugar, sodium

Sodium and sugar content will be capped in various kinds of food from next year in an effort to curb health risks from high blood pressure and obesity.

The Hong Kong government will announce the limits, including curbs on dip sauces and non-alcoholic beverages, in May, Sky Post reported Wednesday, citing Ho Yuk-yin, a consultant for the Center for Food Safety.

This year, the center established an international expert committee to find ways to cut sodium and sugar in foods.

And next year, the Department of Health will begin research into daily sodium consumption and sodium content in urine.

Graham Macgregor, a British member of the expert panel, said the government should require food makers to cut additives in food products and consider tax on sugar.

Sylvia Lam, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Dietitians Association, said each cup of instant noodles contains more sodium than the suggested daily limit and long-term overconsumption increases the risk of stroke, heart failure and renal failure.

People who consume too much sodium could eat food rich in potassium such as dark leafy greens, bananas and potatoes to help remove the harmful ingredient from the system, Lam said.

Hong Kong people consume nine to 10 grams of salt per day on average compared with five grams suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO).

That amount of salt normally contains two grams of sodium.

For sugar, WHO suggests 50 grams maximum per day but research shows three in 10 Hongkongers consume more than that.

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TL/AC/RA

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