About 1.5 billion people have high blood pressure (hypertension), the first cause of ill-health, disability and death globally. A crude estimate suggests that about 30% of the burden of hypertension may relate to excessive salt (sodium chloride) consumption.
Since only 20-25% of the salt we eat comes from that added to food by consumers (when cooking and at the table), a successful reduction in the population salt intake must rely on a substantial industry reformulation of most food items we currently eat every day.
The UK has been on the leading front of such public health initiative. However, it is now the time to speed up the pace and get to target (no more than 5g of salt per day) or at least to reduce our consumption by a further third by 2025.
During Salt Awareness Week the British and Irish Hypertension Society is joining the global community in calling for reinforced actions on:
- Stronger political leadership
- Mandatory salt targets on many food items
- Improved Front-of-pack labelling
- Enhanced advocacy
- Continued public awareness campaigns
- Fiscal measures to discourage the consumption unhealthy high salt products
Altogether we can make it!