DROP the Salt Lithgow is a community initiative aiming to reduce salt consumption in the Lithgow population.
Nanjing Night Net

This work is undertaken by dedicated researchers from The George Institute for Global Health.

A morning tea was recently held at the PCYC building in Lithgow to thank the community for their participation and recap on what has happened since the initial data was collected in 2011.

The data in 2011 indicated adults in the area were consuming on average 9 grams of salt per day, almost twice the recommended level of 4g/d.

In 2013 an intervention was launched which provided two tools to the community to assist with reducing salt intake: Foodswitch, a phone app which enables consumers to choose healthier versions of the foods they love; and Salt for Life, a low sodium salt substitute which contains 70 per cent less sodium.

Present at the morning tea was Debbie Baker from Low Sodium Foods.

Debbie has a special interest in the Drop the Salt initiative as she suffers from Ménière’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree.

Ménière’s disease is characterized by episodes of vertigo, low-pitched tinnitus, and hearing loss which can be permanent.

A high-salt intake is thought to alter the concentrations of fluid in the inner ear and Ménière’s episodes are potentially accelerated by high-salt binges, therefore a low sodium diet can improve life for those suffering from the disease.

In the coming weeks the Drop the Salt team will be recruiting past participants and volunteers to take part in a follow up survey to determine if the level of salt intake has decreased.

They will be in Cook Street Plaza and Lithgow Valley Plaza during the week handing out information, Salt for Life samples and looking for people willing to take part in the follow up survey.

If salt intake is a health issue that concerns you, make sure to keep your eyes open for the Drop the Salt team to learn how you can decrease your intake.

ONGOING PROGRAM: The George Institute’s Bruce Neal, Debbie Baker from Low Sodium Foods, Colin Perry and the George Institute’s Mary-Anne Land.

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