Reducing salt 'would cut cancer'
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Reducing salt 'would cut cancer'

Cebu : Philippines | Jul 23, 2012 at 2:36 AM PDT
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Salt intake and cancer

Skooter reporting 07/23/12

According to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) cutting down intake on salty foods such as bacon, bread and breakfast cereals may decrease people's risk of having stomach cancer.

The aim here is to let people eat less salt and for the content of food to be labeled more clearly.

In the UK, it was reported that one-in-seven stomach cancers would be avoided if people kept to daily guidelines. The figure could be even higher, Cancer Research UK said. As we all are aware that too much salt is bad for blood pressure and can lead to heart disease and stroke, but a few of us knows that it can also cause cancer.

The suggested daily limit is 6g, more or less a level teaspoonful, but the World Cancer Research Fund said people were consuming 8.6g a day.

In the UK, there are around 6,000 cases of stomach cancer every year and it is estimated that 14% of cases, about 800, could be prevented if everyone follows the 6g of salt per day.

Kate Mendoza, head of health information at WCRF said that stomach cancer is hard to treat successfully because most cases are not detected earlier until the disease is well-entrenched. She was quoted as saying, “this places even greater emphasis on making lifestyle choices to prevent the disease occurring in the first place - such as cutting down on salt intake and eating more fruit and vegetables."

Mendoza said consuming too much salt is not all about sprinkling it over fish and chips or Sunday lunch, the great majority is already inside food. The need for a “traffic-light” system for food labeling is what WCRF is calling for – red for high, amber for medium and green for low.

Yet, this has proved controversial with many food manufacturers and supermarkets favoring other ways of labeling food.

Lucy Boyd, from Cancer Research UK, was quoted as saying: "This research confirms what a recently published report from Cancer Research UK has shown - too much salt also contributes considerably to the number of people getting stomach cancer in the UK. On average people in Britain eat too much salt and intake is highest in men. Improved labeling - such as traffic light labeling - could be a useful step to help consumers cut down."

A spokesman for the Department of Health said that they already know too much salt can lead to conditions such as heart disease and stroke. That is why they are taking action through the 'Responsibility Deal' to help lessen the salt in people's diets. And they are looking at clearer labeling on foods as part of their discussion on front-of-pack labeling.

The findings are kept under review together with other emerging research in the field, he said.

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Salt is in many foods, such as bread
skooter is based in Cebu, Central Visayas, Philippines, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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