"No Salt For You!" Mexico City bans salt shakers from tables

Mexico's new hardline stance on salt has led to the removal of salt shakers from over 200,000 restaurants, pubs and cafes in the country's capital

by The Commentator on 11 April 2013 13:39

Put-down-that-saltshaker

Around 200,000 restaurants, pubs and cafes in Mexico City have permanently removed salt shakers from their dining tables, reports El Universal.

The government-sponsored move is apparently a part of a larger effort to raise awareness on the dangers of high sodium diets and its correlation to hypertension and other diseases prevalent in Mexican society.

The policy has been applied with the agreement of the Mexican Restaurant Association and the National Chamber of the Restaurant Industry.

Mexico City’s Secretary of Health launched the “Less salt, more health” campaign on April 4th, assuring restaurant owners that there would be no sanctions against establishment offering salt with their food, and that diners can ask for salt if they require it from the waiters.

Armando Ahued said that he hoped that removing the shakers from the table would help reduce the habit people have of salting their food before they have even tasted it. 

According to Ahued, the World Health Organisation recommends a daily consumption of 5 grams of salt per day, but in Mexico the average consumption is between 11 and 12 grams.

He said that one of the consequences of this high sodium intake is that 31 percent of the Mexican population has arterial hypertension, which combined with other diseases such as obesity and diabetes, causes cardiac attacks, strokes and death.

Joel Estrada, Chief Cardiologist at the Siglo XXI Medical Center, concurred, saying that by removing salt shakers from tables in restaurants and at home, excessive salt consumption could be reduced by around 50 percent.

The campaign, in addition to removing the salt shaker from the table, will consist of waiters wearing a button or pin with the slogan, "Less salt, more health" and notes will be placed with restaurant menus.

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