CASH comment: Fewer adults add salt at the table after initiation of a national salt campaign in the UK

A recent study conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows that people in England are adding less salt to their food at the table, with the greatest decline (in salt intake at the table) following a national campaign to reduce the populations salt intake, initiated by The Food Standards Agency in 2003.  

In the first of its kind, this study assessed directly the effect of the campaign on the addition of salt at the table by consumers. Data was obtained from the Health Survey for England over a period of 10 years and found that since 1997, there has been a steady decrease in the number of people adding salt at the table. This was specifically observed in women, non-white ethnic groups, high and middle-income households and those living within central and southern regions of England.

However, it was also observed that nearly 25% of all adults in England are still adding salt at the table, suggesting that continued efforts are needed in order to reach the 6g a day recommendation.

The UK’s Food Standards Agency and Department of Health unveiled a salt campaign for the UK in an attempt to raise awareness of the health risks associated with salt consumption and encourage product reformulation by setting salt reduction targets for manufacturers to meet, in order to reduce the nation's salt intake.

Kawther Hashem, Nutritionist at CASH comments:  “It is promising to know that the salt reduction public awareness campaign has had an impact on the amount of salt added at the table; however as a population we are still eating too much salt - more than the recommended 6g a day. The Department of Health needs to continue to both raise awareness of the dangers of a high salt diet, especially amongst those groups identified in this study, and through the setting of further salt targets to continue to reduce the amount of salt hidden in processed foods.”

 

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