Excessive salt intake is associated with high blood pressure, a major risk factor of cardiovascular diseases. The World Health Organization has set a target of 30% reduction in population salt intake by 2020 to contain the prevalence of high blood pressure (HBP). The aim of the study was to measure the consumption of discretionary salt and bouillon in rural and urban Senegalese households. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 111 households in Dakar and Kaffrine. Quantities of discretionary salt and bouillon used in the preparation of meals were accurately weighed and contribution of bouillon to salt intake assessed using the Senegalese manufacturing standard of bouillon. Knowledge, attitudes and practices related to consumption of salt and bouillon were collected using a questionnaire. In more than two-thirds of households, per capita salt consumption was high (WHO cut-off >5 g/d), particularly in rural areas (94.4%). Whatever the residence, bouillon contributed to 1/3 of discretionary salt intake. Average individual consumption of salt (discretionary + bouillon) was estimated at 6.3 g/day [4.3; 10.3], with a significant difference between rural and urban areas (10.2g /day vs. 4.6g/day; P<0.01). Urban households gave more importance about the limitation/reduction of salt on cooking, than rural households (63.2% vs 40.7%; P<0.05). In our study areas, discretionary salt consumption per capita was above the WHO recommendation, particularly in rural areas, with a high contribution from bouillon.
Key words: Consumption, discretionary salt, bouillon, Senegalese households, urban, rural, hypertension.
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