Salt Action Summary

May 2009

SALT INTAKE IN POLAND: A recent article was published in Institute's bi-monthly "Zywienie człowieka i metabolism" (Polish Journal of Human Nutrition and Metabolism).

The article presents results of the study focused on the estimate of total sodium chloride consumption i.e. table salt distributed by the retail outlets (iodized one) and used by individual consumers + sodium included in foods consumed (converted into sodium chloride). This study has been carried out in view of quite scarce data on salt intake based on urinary sodium measurements.

The authors of the study I’m referring to used the data from the household budget surveys. They have a long tradition in our country and their methodology is well established, trustworthy and their results are widely utilized. They cover a fairly large household sample (approx. 34,4 thousand with nearly 112 thousand individual members in 2007) selected through a sampling scheme which allows for the generalization of their results to all households with a margin of error. Table (kitchen) salt is covered by the recording.

According to estimates presented by the authors of the study, average table salt consumption, derived by the households from the retail outlets, selling iodized salt, amounted to 8 g per person/day in 2008. The authors estimated as well the amounts of sodium present naturally in foods or added by the food manufacturers using for that purpose data derived from the national food composition tables. Sodium content in foods (converted into kitchen salt) amounted to 4 g per person/day in 2007. Thus, total sodium chloride consumption averaged 12 g per person/day in 2008: kitchen salt as such used by the consumers provided 2/3 of this total. This is much higher proportion in relation to western countries and reflects important role of food preparation at home in Poland.

12 g of salt, although representing already high amount, doesn’t cover however contribution of the catering sector. According to conservative estimate, the above total salt consumption should be increased by at least 10-15% to allow for the inclusion of this substance provided by the catering sector.

August 2007

The problem of a very high salt intake in the Polish diet, and its effect on health, has recently been recognised and action has been called for.

In 2007, the official statement of the Polish Society of Hypertension, concerning the need for reducing the amount of salt contained within processed foods, has been published in the official journal ‘Arterial Hypertension’.  The statement has already been publicised via local television in Krakow.  A brochure is currently being developed for hypertensive patients.

Co-operation with the food industry and manufacturers, calling for a reduction in salt and the use of salt-substitutes, is already underway in Poland.

Poland has registered their support for involvement with the International Salt Awareness Week.