World Health Organization release Global Sodium Benchmarks
Today the World Health Organization released their Global Sodium Benchmarks, the first-ever globally harmonized set of benchmarks for more than 60 food categories that define the maximum levels of sodium that processed foods can contain. Categories include the leading contributors of salt to diets worldwide, such as:
- Cakes, sweet biscuits and pastries
- Savoury snacks
- Breakfast cereals
- Processed meat
- Plant-based meat alternatives
Global benchmarks will help countries to set national policies and act as a basis for ongoing dialogue between WHO and the private sector at the global level. They were developed based on existing salt reduction targets from around the world and are therefore ambitious, but achievable.
Mhairi Brown, Programme Manager for WASSH, said “This is a positive and ambitious step forward for salt reduction and we are hopeful that the WHO’s leadership will help kickstart salt reduction efforts in countries that have so far struggled to implement a strategy. However, we must all do more to lower salt intake and prevent the huge impact that salt has on health, from governments to industry and even civil society. Worldwide, everyone must commit to achieving these benchmarks if we are to have any hope of reaching the recommended salt intake of less than 5g per day”.