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Open AccessArticle

Salt-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors on Efate Island, Vanuatu

The George Institute for Global Health, The University of New South Wales, NSW 2006 Sydney, Australia
Independent Nutrition Researcher, 2602 Canberra, Australia
Vanuatu Ministry of Health, Iatika Complex, Cornwall St, Port Vila, Vanuatu
Division of Pacific Technical Support, South Pacific Office, World Health Organization, Level 4, Provident Plaza One, Downtown Boulevard, 33 Ellery Street, Suva, Fiji
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 1027;
Received: 14 February 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Health Behaviors, Risk Factors, NCDs and Health Promotion)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk factors; health behaviors; salt intake; cardiovascular disease risk factors; health behaviors; salt intake; cardiovascular disease
MDPI and ACS Style

Sparks, E.; Paterson, K.; Santos, J.A.; Trieu, K.; Hinge, N.; Tarivonda, L.; Snowdon, W.; Johnson, C.; Webster, J. Salt-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors on Efate Island, Vanuatu. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1027.

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