Turkish Health Ministry to sign protocol to cut salt, sugar in food

Turkish Health Ministry to sign protocol to cut salt, sugar in food

Meltem Özgenç – ANKARA
Turkish Health Ministry to sign protocol to cut salt, sugar in food

Turkey’s Health Ministry will sign a protocol on Feb. 28 with pastry shops and restaurants in a bid to reduce the amount of salt and sugar added to food.

“We have established the ‘Nutrition Council.’ The scientific committee of this council will monitor the process by taking [food] samples. In the forthcoming period, some snacks such as sandwiches and pastries will be downscaled in size,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told daily Hürriyet.

“The calories and [grams of] fat will be counted. Thus, we will be able to continue the fight against obesity in this sense too,” he stressed, adding that one in three people in Turkey is either obese or overweight.

“This figure is increasing among the youth as well,” the minister warned.

A nutrition map of Turkey which shows the weight level of citizens along with their nutritional deficiencies has been completed, according to Koca.

“We have tested the vitamin levels of 13,000 adults in all 81 provinces of Turkey. This reveals the dietary habits of citizens and measures how healthy these habits are,” he said.

Through the blood tests, folic acid, iron and vitamin D deficiencies will be detected, the minister said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests limiting the amount of salt to 5 to 6 grams, which corresponds to almost one teaspoon, on a daily basis per person.

The amount of salt an average person consumes in a day is 15 grams in Turkey. This figure is 9 grams in the U.K., 10 grams in the U.S., and 13 grams in China.

Health Ministry, Turkey, salt, sugar