UK -New Food Technology report - Further salt reductions are achievable
- New food technology report in the UK shows further salt reductions are achievable
- CASH report finds product examples going ‘above and beyond’ current salt targets
- Further salt targets must now be set if the UK is to continue to lead the world and save the maximum number of lives
Leatherhead food report provides food companies with valuable information to achieve the 2012 salt reduction targets and indicates that gradual reductions in the salt content of food, coupled with the use of potassium based salt or other ingredient based solutions, can be used to lower the salt content of all food in line with the Government’s recommendations. We hope this report will be useful to all WASH members who are looking to progress with salt reduction in their own country.
Consensus Action on Salt & Health (CASH) have also simultaneously issued their own report, which strongly reinforces Leatherhead’s findings. Furthermore, the CASH report identifies specific product examples which not only meet the 2012 salt reduction targets in the UK, but go well below them. These findings clearly demonstrate that reducing salt intake to below the 2012 targets in the UK is achievable; if one leading company can meet the targets, so can all the rest.
Both reports highlight the need for a level playing field and to ensure that future targets are set for the whole of the food industry, including food eaten outside the home.
The UK is leading the world on salt reduction, using a strategy which is considered “the most successful nutrition policy since the Second World War” [Ref 1]. As a result the UK now has the lowest known salt intake of the developed world [Ref 2]. This success is largely due to the fact that the food industry in the UK has and will continue to lead the world in salt reduction, taking responsibility for reducing salt in their food and developing innovative solutions to enable them to meet the salt targets.
Both reports highlight the need for a level playing field and to ensure that future targets are set for the whole of the food industry, including food eaten outside the home. The Department of Health must now go ahead with setting new salt targets to ensure that the UK continues to lead the world and save the maximum number of lives.
The UK is fortunate to have some of the leading food companies in the world, and in collaboration with them we will reduce salt intake to a maximum of 6g per day. This will prevent 36,000 strokes and heart attacks every year, 18,000 of which would have been fatal, while also saving the NHS billions of pounds a year [Ref 3]” says Professor Graham MacGregor of the Wolfson Institute, and Chairman of CASH
Ref 1 – Winkler JT (2012) BMJ 2012 344; e4465
Ref 2 –The mean estimated salt intake, derived from urinary sodium excretion, for adults aged 19 to 64 years was 8.1g per day, with men having a mean estimated intake of 9.3g per day and women having a mean estimated intake of 6.8g per day
Ref 3 – NICE (National Insitiute for Health & Clinical Excellence) (2010). NICE Public Health Guidance 25: Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. NICE: London
13 July 2012