Spain Salt Action Summary

2013

In 2013, the WHO reviewed salt reduction activities across the European region and produced the report 'Mapping salt reduction initiatives in the WHO European Region'. Below is a summary of salt reduction activities in Spain, as reported in this document:

The 2005 Strategy for Nutrition, Physical Activity and Prevention of Obesity recommended that salt intake should be reduced to less than 5 g/day. The Strategy aims to reduce the salt content of food by 20% between 2010 and 2014.

Estimated salt consumption in Spain is 9.7g per day, estimated with 24-hour urine sampling. 70-75% of this salt intake comes from processed foods and food eaten outside the home. The main source is bread, which accounts for 19% of daily salt intake, followed by cured ham and cold meats. 1256 products in 20 food categories have been analysed to establish the maximum, minimum and average salt content in every food category. From this baseline, the average salt content of bread reduced by 1.63g/100g over 4 years.

In 2010, Agency for Food and Nutrition Safety distributed 100 000 copies of the brochure Plan to Reduce the Consumption of Salt across Spain and the Agency has also conducted public awareness campaigns to educate on salt.

To achieve the target of a 5% reduction in salt intake by 2014, formal agreements are being prepared in cooperation with the food and catering industry as well as with restaurants and school canteens. In 2005, the Agency for Food and Nutrition Safety signed an agreement with the Spanish Confederation of Bakery Organizations to reduce salt in bread from 22g per kg of flour to 18g per kg by 2009. By the end of 2009, salt levels were reduced to 16.3g per kg of flour – a 26.4% reduction.

May 2008

WASH spokesperson Josep Redon shared the work of WASH, including previous work and future perspectives, at the Meeting of the Spanish Society of Hypertension, a collective deeply involved in the impact of salt and health.