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IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1027: Salt-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors on Efate Island, Vanuatu

21 Mar 2019

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1027: Salt-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors on Efate Island, Vanuatu

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph16061027

Authors:
Emalie Sparks
Katherine Paterson
Joseph Alvin Santos
Kathy Trieu
Nerida Hinge
Len Tarivonda
Wendy Snowdon
Claire Johnson
Jacqui Webster

In Vanuatu, mean salt intake exceeds the recommended maximum daily intake, and contributes to the high proportion of deaths attributable to cardiovascular diseases. Understanding salt-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of the Vanuatu population can inform appropriate interventions. This cross-sectional study was conducted as part of the 2016–2017 Vanuatu Salt Survey. In total, 753 participants aged between 18 and 69 years from rural and urban communities on the Island of Efate were included. Demographic and clinical data were collected and a salt-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors survey was administered. Knowledge relating to the need to reduce salt consumption was high, but reported behaviors did not reflect this knowledge. A total of 83% of participants agreed that too much salt could cause health problems, and 86% reported that it was “very important” to lower the amount of salt in the diet. However, more than two-thirds of the population reported always/often adding salt to food during cooking/meal preparation and at the table, and always/often consuming processed foods high in salt. Strategic, targeted, and sustained behavior change programs in parallel with interventions to change the food environment to facilitate healthier choices should be key components of a salt reduction program. Actions should implemented as part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent and control non-communicable diseases in Vanuatu.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health