Aims and achievements

Aims

  • To reach a consensus with the food manufacturers and suppliers that there is strong evidence that salt is a major cause of high blood pressure and has other adverse health effects.
  • To persuade the food processors and suppliers to universally and gradually reduce the salt content of processed foods.
  • To ensure the body of evidence from the scientific community about the dangers of excessive salt consumption becomes translated into policy by the Government and relevant professional organisations.
  • To educate the public in becoming more salt aware in terms of understanding the impact of salt on their health, checking labels when shopping and avoiding products with high levels of salt.
  • To ensure that the elderly and children are highlighted as particularly vulnerable groups whose health is more at risk from high salt intakes.
  • To ensure clear and comprehensive nutritional labelling of the salt content of all processed foods, with the amount in grams of salt per serving alongside the recommended government intake of 6 grams a day.
  • To work with other organisations and stakeholders in order to maximise the message about what is a healthy diet ensuring this includes reducing the current national high salt intake.


Achievements

Since being set up in 1996, as a response to the refusal of the Chief Medical Officer to endorse the COMA recommendations to reduce salt intake, CASH has gone from strength to strength. With regular national press coverage, great support from other health charities and a successful annual Salt Awareness Week our message is finally slowly being taken on by the food industry and other health specialists. Read more about the history of salt reduction

Key Achievements to date…

  • Convincing the Department of Health, who had previously ignored the importance of salt reduction, to commit to the reduction in the UK.
  • Encouraging the Food Standards Agency to pick up salt as one of their key campaigns
  • Setting up a World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) group which now has more than 380 members across 20 countries since starting up in 2005
  • Campaigning for the introduction of voluntary salt targets which have now been put into place by the FSA for 2010 and 2012.
  • Achieving a 10% reduction in the UK salt intake, saving an estimated 6000 lives each year
  • Regular and widespread media coverage in print, TV, radio and online – click here for more information
  • Good evidence of industry progress with salt reduction and meeting the FSA targets – click here for more information


Awards & Grants

2003 Caroline Walker Award
In 2003 CASH was honoured with a Caroline Walker Award in recognition of the success of the long public health approach to salt in food and advocating that changes can best be achieved at the processing stage rather than at the table.

In recognition of the huge success of CASH in bringing down the salt intake of the UK population, CASH was honoured with silver at the Chief Medical Officers Public Health Awards in 2009.

CASH has waged a successful public health campaign to make the food industry in the United Kingdom reduce the amount of salt it adds to our foods. In the United Kingdom, average salt intake has already fallen by 1 gm a day, preventing approximately 12,000 strokes and heart attacks per year (6,000 of which would have been fatal). As salt intake continues to fall – as more salt is taken out of food – even greater benefits will be seen, with many thousands more lives saved.

Sir Liam Donaldson announced that out of 147 initial entries, the following organisations had achieved Gold, Silver and Bronze awards out of a final shortlist of seven: Fresh – Smoke Free North East; Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH); and Sustrans.

2010 Big Lottery Fund
CASH was thankful to receive a Big Lottery Fund grant which allowed us to design and print a new leaflet called ‘salt and your health’ which aimed to highlight the many health conditions which can be caused by or worsened by a high salt diet.

British Heart Foundation Grant
This generous grant from the British Heart Foundation allowed CASH to fund work on the salt of out of home food, an increasing area of concern now that the retailers and big manufacturers are progressing with salt reduction.