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World Action on Salt. Sugar & Health



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 Belgium, as reported in this document:

The National Food and Health Plan defines recommendations on salt reduction. In 2007 a salt reduction task force was set up, along with working group of representatives of the food industry. In 2008, the salt reduction strategy was established, with an aim of 10% reduction from 2009-2012.  

The Scientific Institute of Public Health carried out a measurement of population sodium intake in 2008 using 2 day 24-hour dietary recall, which found that average sodium intake for men was 3.3g (or 8.25g of salt) per day, and 2.3g/day (or 5.75g of salt) for women.

With 2009 being the year of hypertension in Belgium, a large-scale media campaign on salt reduction was launched. Also in 2009, a convention was signed with the federation of the food industry by which written commitments were provided to reduce salt consumption based on a self-reporting framework.

Salt in Belgian bread is strictly regulated by a Royal Decree of 1985, with maximum salt levels in bread and bread products set at 2% of dry matter. According to annual monitoring reports, more than 90% of bread products analysed meet this level.

November 2013

The Belgian food industry has reported a decrease in salt levels found in processed foods between 2004 and 2012. Salt levels in meat products decreased by 36%, in breads by 22% and in prepared meals by 29%.

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