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Ministry mulls "Salt Tax" as kidney disease cases rocket


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Picture: Snook

 

The worrying amount of salt, sugar and fat in Thai food - and their snacking habits at 7-Eleven and other stores - are in the news again.

 

The prevalence of sugar has been the subject of some attention but now the government are turning to salt.

 

Sanook reported that the Ministry of Finance were considering proposing a "Salt Tax" with moves over the next year to lower sodium in the Thai diet to meet WHO guidelines.

 

MoF minister Arkhom Termphitthaya was speaking at a seminar addressing sodium in the Thai diet.

 

He said that diabetes, high blood pressure and the resulting kidney problems were all serious in Thailand. 

 

It was important to target the amount of sugar, fat and salt in the diet of the Thai people.

 

He said that a Sugar Tax had already been formulated but now salt was the target. 

 

He noted that the ill health of the Thai people when it comes to the intake of sodium is causing a huge financial strain on the health service.  

 

He said that in the coming months moves would be made to press producers to lower the salt content of their products  and campaigns would be mounted to persuade restaurants and families to use less.

 

He admitted this would take time and another official told the media that this initial phase would take six months to a year to accomplish.

 

The target is to lower Thai's salt intake initially by 20% from 3,600 miligrams per day to 2,800.

 

Then subsequently try and limit intake to 2,000 miligrams daily to meet World Health organization guidelines. 

 

ASEAN NOW notes that Thai food has an understandable high reputation and love throughout the world. 

 

But as many Thais would attest, it just doesn't taste right until there is plenty of sugar and salt in it to provide the "rot chart" (flavor).

 

Thai tastes may well have to change through education and gentle pressure before the disastrous consequences of diseases like diabetes - rampant in Thailand - are more properly addressed. 

 

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1 minute ago, Gsxrnz said:

The use of taxation (legalised and government endorsed theft) to incentivize an alteration in behavior is the equivalent of beating a child with a poker to achieve the same.

So it will work?

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3 minutes ago, Gsxrnz said:

The use of taxation (legalised and government endorsed theft) to incentivize an alteration in behavior is the equivalent of beating a child with a poker to achieve the same.

Yet it is done the world over isn't it?

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Many Moons ago i had a Thai Girlfriend that came to my place for Home Made Lunch and when coming to the table she asked where the salt pot was.  I told her i don't use salt and i don't keep any in the house and she said.... 'I don't eat food without salt', so i said... 'Well; you will have to eat somewhere else then !'   End of conversation and she ate the food but i didn't invite her again.

Edited by trainman34014
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Getting too little salt in a warm climate can be fatal, many doctors are criticizing WHO's 2 gram per day recommendation and earlier campaigns for lowering salt.

 

5-6 gram per day (5.8 gram) is the healthy recommendation, however it's said that many digest more salt than that - up to around 10 gram - and normally men intakes more salt than women.

 

Quote

Salt deficiency can occur when you for example play extremely hard sports where you sweat a lot. But also in case of illness with severe diarrhea and vomiting or if staying abroad under extremely high heat. In these situations, the body loses both a lot of fluid and salt, and therefore it may be necessary to add extra salt to the body. If the body lacks salt, it can react with muscle cramps, heart problems and maybe even collapse.

 

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4 hours ago, scubascuba3 said:

Considering thais don't sweat they need very little salt, personally with exercise i need 3 electrolytes a day plus salt on some food

Did you read the ingredients list on the electrolyte sachets?

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What does the tax on salt have to be to actually have influence on decision to purchase or use?

 

I mean salt is dirt cheap, if you doubled the cost with 100% tax it would be insignificant to influence behavior.  At least for me, but what do I know.

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1 hour ago, Sir Dude said:

Yes, there are benefits to something like taxation on sugar/salt in the health perspective but there also the negatives to it too... it's called critical thinking.

Critical thinking...........now there's a phrase we don't see nearly enough in these forums. And not at all in the upper echelons of government (and I'm not just talking about Thailand).

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2 hours ago, johng said:

How will they lockdown the oceans  ?

Every single cell and organism in your body is dependent upon minerals. Salt gets this terrible reputation, but it’s because it’s refined salt that has the bad health effects. But unrefined sea salt is just the opposite. It has potassium and calcium and magnesium and a full complement of minerals that your body needs to function properly.

 

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3 hours ago, trainman34014 said:

Many Moons ago i had a Thai Girlfriend that came to my place for Home Made Lunch and when coming to the table she asked where the salt pot was.  I told her i don't use salt and i don't keep any in the house and she said.... 'I don't eat food without salt', so i said... 'Well; you will have to eat somewhere else then !'   End of conversation and she ate the food but i didn't invite her again.

Well you are a charming host.

Thais don't usually have salt cellars on the table, but get salt from various sauces, from soy, prik-nam-pla, oyster sauce etc. I soon got her indoors to stop putting MSG in everything, and sugar into vegetables, but on top of salty stock powders, liberal helpings of those sauces sprinkled with gusto, it often makes things too salty for my taste. 

Edited by jacko45k
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Salt content is high in many foods here.  Whether it’s street food or something you buy at the store.  What’s funny is hearing people with high blood pressure wondering why they can’t lower it.  

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