Korea

Salt Action Summary

2014

A new study has found that consumer knowledge of the relationship between high salt diets and an increased risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease was high. Furthermore, their knowledge of the sodium content of foods was high.

Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1750-3841.12503/full

A further study involving 242 adults from Pohang city found that average salt intake was 9.9g/day, with a range of 5.3g to 14.5g/day. This study utilised 24 hour urinary sodium measurements and indicates that salt intake may be decreasing in South Korea.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4194289/

2013

Following the establishment of the Korea Center for Less Salt Campaign, 13 food manufacturers are now voluntarily producing low sodium products, or are reformulating their existing products to contain less sodium.

Source: https://foodindustry.asia/industry-and-government-collaborate-to-reduce-salt-intake

2012

In 2012, the South Korean government established the Korea Center for Less Salt Campaign, following the finding by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare that average sodium intake is 4878mg/day, which is equivalent to 12.2g salt per day. The aim of the Korea Center for Less Salt Campaign is to reduce salt intake by 20% by 2017. They will develop low sodium school meals, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology will hold educational sessions for students and parents, large retailers will need to dedicate areas of their stores to low sodium products and more than 1000 restaurants have pledged to serve low sodium dishes by 2013.

The Korean Food and Drug Administration said that increased sodium intake was responsible for 32% of hypertension cases and 10.9% of diabetes cases in the South Korean population.

2007

Koreans are eating too much salt, experts said. According to a government report on the nutritional condition of Koreans, 13.5 grams of salt per day per person was being consumed, which is 2.7 times more than the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended five grams. It is also higher than Japan's 10.7 grams and the United Kingdom's 11 grams.

A Korean Food and Drug Administration spokesperson said Koreans must watch their salt intake. "As people eat more fast food, spicy food and fatty foods which contain lots of salt, there are possible threats of hypertension, brain and heart disease and even stomach cancer", she said. She warned that even children are being exposed to too much salt.