Dubai Residents in the UAE were asked about their preferences when buying bottled waters and whether they take the time to look at the labels.
Sami Saeed, an Algerian marketing manager said he doesn’t look at the composition of water bottles because he believes the sodium levels wont affect his health, but the food he consumes will.
“I walk into the supermarket and grab the first bottle my eye lands on. I don’t suffer from any health issues, so extra sodium in my bottle won’t make a difference, but it’s always good for people with hypertension to consider bottles with low sodium,” he said.
Sylvia Serdak, Egyptian student said she only looks at the sodium levels because of the flavor, but her parents are on a low sodium diet and usually prefer bottles with low sodium levels.
“Water bottles high in sodium actually taste saltier and I don’t like that flavour. I have no knowledge about the other components found in water, but since my parents advise me to drink water low in sodium and I find it tastier, I prefer it more.”
Sahad Al Janahi, working as a manager from Iraq, said he never looked at the composition of bottled waters until he went to Vienna two years ago and found people taking the time to read the labels on water.
“They were concerned about the amount of sodium in the bottles they were buying and when I asked them why they said it was better for the body. Since then, I started consuming water with low sodium levels, but when I’m thirsty I don’t take the time to look at these things,” he said.
Al Janahi said water with low sodium tastes better. “I wouldn’t drink water from the tap because I’m afraid the pipes are not maintained well, but I think the water tastes different because of the sodium levels.”
Al Janahi recommended that people would control their food more, which he sees the reason for health issues.
As a long-term resident who has been drinking tap water, Hemalatha Jayan from Malaysia said she is not concerned about sodium levels.
“I’ve been drinking directly from the tap for 35 years without a filter and I’ve never faced any health issues. My husband and children do the same and we don’t find it salty,” she said. “I barely buy bottled waters and when I do, I never check the components because I don’t think it’s a concern.”
Similarly, Maryam Mudeer, a housewife from Pakistan said she has always drank from the tap and never faced any health issues.
“My parents and I lived here all our lives and have grown up healthy and without any vitamin issues. We don’t have any stones in our bodies and we are even healthier than the new breed. We freeze the water in the fridge and it tastes good.”
Based on a poll Gulf News put up with a total of 567 votes, 14 per cent said they drink from tap water and 86 per cent said they don’t.