Many of us have become accustomed to drinking sweetened drinks, or to thinking that food cooked without copious amounts of salt is “tasteless”. The average Malaysian consumes more salt and sugar than the limits recommended by the World Health Organization, and this could have harmful effects on one’s health.
Salt intake in Malaysian and many other Asian countries is high. Besides the high salt intake, there is also higher salt sensitivity in Asians compared to westerners. Reduction in salt intake is a call made by the WHO as part of the strategy to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the world. The Ministry of Health Malaysian has taken up this call to reduce salt intake to <5gm/day as part of its strategic plan to reduced NCDs.
The Malaysian Society for World Action on Salt, Sugar and Health (MyWASSH), a new society registered with the Malaysian Registry of Societies (Number PPM-008-10-10112021) in October 2021, consists of clinicians, educators, and specialists with a strong interest in reducing salt and sugar intake in Malaysia. The organization is affiliated with the World Action on Salt, Sugar and Health (WASSH) based in the United Kingdom, which is a global group aiming to improve population health throughout the world by achieving a gradual reduction in salt and sugar intakes. It is also an associate member of and endorsed by the World Hypertension League as well as being an affiliate member of the International Society of Hypertension.
MyWASSH seeks to inculcate salt and sugar reduction strategies by engaging with lawmakers, the food industry, the media, the health care professionals and the general public.