SYDNEY Sean Harlow Black Jersey , Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Australian men on average are eating twice the amount of salt considered safe by the World Health Organization, with their female counterparts not far behind, according to latest research.
The men are taking about 10.1 grams of salt a day and the women are taking 7.34 grams, against the recommended maximum salt intake of 5 grams a day, according to the findings of a study led by Professor Bruce Neal, senior director of the Food Policy Division of the Australia-based George Institute for Global Health, and released on Monday.
"Strong and consistent evidence indicates that a high dietary salt intake increases blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of cardiovascular disease," the researchers wrote in their report, which was published online by the Medical Journal of Australia. They analyzed more than 30 studies and material covering more than 16,800 participants between 1989 and 2015.
"Despite a steady improvement in mortality rates over the past three decades, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in Australia ... reducing population salt intake is projected to be one of the most cost-effective strategies for reducing rates of premature death and disability attributable to high blood pressure and vascular disease," they said.
Despite a number of programs for reducing salt intake in Australia, "there has been no robust assessment of national intake levels that would permit the success or failure of these programs to be quantified."
Their results highlighted the need for "systematic, standardized and repeated assessments of a national sample of the population in order to determine whether salt reduction programs are achieving the target of a 30 percent reduction in intake by 2025."
Between 2014 and 2015, close to 6 million Australians aged 18 years and over had high blood pressure, according to health surveys by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In 2015, more than 45,300 deaths in the country were attributed to cardiovascular disease, with one Australian dying as a result of the condition every 12 minutes, bureau figures showed.
by Shen Zhonghao
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Participants of the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, which closed Friday, have turned to the Belt and Road Initiative for cures for the fractured world and to create a shared future.
They expected the initiative to tie together the destiny of people living in different countries and regions through further specific actions to promote connectivity, improve living standards, boost free trade, among others.
Proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is aimed at promoting the connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas and realizing diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development in the countries involved.
Embracing the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit, the initiative has gained support from more than 100 countries and international organizations.
"The Belt and Road is the best place to start working on the fractures in the world and creating connectivity," Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said in a panel discussion.
He said the Belt and Road can link countries and create shared prosperity, which coincides with the theme of this year's gathering -- creating a shared future in a fractured world.
"We feel that something concerning the fractured world is discussed in Davos, Belt and Road is probably the best way to address this," said Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia's sovereign wealth fund with a reserved capital of 10 billion U.S. dollars.
Chan Chun Sing, Singapore's minister in Prime Minister's Office, said the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative is threefold. Firstly, it connects markets, facilitates trade and improves people's livelihoods. Secondly, it catalyses local economies. Thirdly, it sets a system for the global economy.
MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL PROJECTS
With regard to specific projects under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Abbasi said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a "visible part."8 Dmitriev said that from the Russian point of view, the time cost of cross-border transportation of goods has been markedly reduced thanks to the completion of a bridge linking China's Tongjiang City in the northeastern Heilongjiang Province and the Russian town of Nizhneleninskoye.
Calling for "significant collaboration," U.S. businessman Michael Burke said: "The size and scale of infrastructure projects along the Belt and Road cannot be done by any one country, neither private sector alone or public sector alone."
Burke is the chairman and chief executive officer of AECOM, an American firm which designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets in more than 150 countries and regions.
Burke said his company has been involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, collaborating with state-owned enterprises in various countries in an effort to combine "their expertise together with our private expertise."
As regards the strategy of investing in infrastructure along the Belt and Road, Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), an international lender created by China that has attracted 84 members so far, laid out three basic criteria -- financial sustainability, environment impact and local support.
"We would be very much willing to consider any projects proposed by member countries, but we have to look at the basic requirements of those proposed projects." Jin said.
Jin said the AIIB would finance infrastructure projects in ways that will neither "leave a
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