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World Action on Salt. Sugar & Health


October 2016

Market Research Company Euromonitor International found that the number one source of salt in the German diet was bread, followed by processed meat and seafood. Bread can contribute as much as 2g of salt per day to the diet due to amount of bread consumed each day by the population.

April 2016

The 2016 federal budget included €2 million for the development of a strategy to reduce salt and sugar in processed foods. As a WHO member state, Germany has agreed to reduce salt intake by 30% by 2025 and as part of this new strategy the federal government aim to reach a 16% reduction in processed foods by 2019.

September 2015

A study found that direct healthcare costs due to intake of fat, salt and sugar in Germany were €16.8 billion in 2008, with excessive consumption of salt estimated to cost €5.3 billion.


A study was conducted using data from the DEGS Study (German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults) to calculate salt intakes in the German population. Although the more inaccurate method spot urine analysis was used, rather than the gold standard method of 24-hour urine collection, median estimated salt intake for adult males was 10.0g and for adult females was 8.4g. Furthermore, over 75% of adult males and 70% of adult females consume more than the 6g maximum salt intake, recommended by the German-speaking nutrition societies, including the German Nutrition Society, Austrian Nutrition Society, Swiss Society for Nutrition Research and Swiss Nutrition Association.

To view the full study, please click here.


The WHO’s publication ‘Mapping Salt Reduction Initiatives in the WHO European Region’ notes that Germany has no specific salt reduction policy, as the government does not favour salt reduction due to the potential knock on effect to iodine deficiency (salt in Germany is fortified with iodine). The German population as a whole are mildly iodine deficient.

To read the full WHO report, please click here.


The WHO Regional Office for Europe estimated that median salt intake for men was 9g a day for men and 6.5g for women, from a review of publications on salt intake in the country.


In 2010 the EU set out the EU Framework on Voluntary National Salt Initiatives. As part of this Framework, Germany drafted voluntary salt reduction targets for bread, with an aim of reaching a maximum 1.6% salt in 100g bread, depending on the type of bread. At the time of publishing ‘Survey of Member States’ Implementation of the EU Salt Reduction Framework’ by the European Commission, Germany stated that they were still working to achieve agreement with the baking industry on the voluntary targets.

At this time, Germany estimated that the population salt intake was 7.1g per day for men and just 5.4g per day for women. However this was estimated using 24 hour dietary recalls and was therefore probably inaccurate.

To view the full European Commission report, please click here.

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