Action on Salt Chairman Graham MacGregor Awarded a CBE
10 June 2019
We are delighted to announce that Action on Salt's Chairman Professor Graham MacGregor has been awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2019!
Professor Graham Alexander MacGregor. Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine. For services to Cardiovascular Disease. (London)
Graham MacGregor CBE, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and Chair of Action on Salt, says: “I am thrilled to have been awarded a CBE by the Queen’s birthday honours list for 2019 for services to Cardiovascular Disease and want to thank my team for their continuous support.
In the early 2000’s, the UK pioneered a salt reduction programme led by the Food Standards Agency and Action on Salt with the setting of incremental salt targets, so that the food industry was slowly reducing the huge and unnecessary amounts of salt they add to food. This resulted in a fall in UK population salt intake, a fall in blood pressure and more than 9,000 lives have been saved per year from preventing strokes and heart disease.
Eating too much salt puts up our blood pressure, the major cause of cardiovascular disease which is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. This issue is recognised worldwide, with many countries adopting a salt reduction strategy similar to the UK. If we were able to achieve the World Health Organisation’s global target of <5g/day, then we would prevent more than 1.6 million cardiovascular disease related deaths per year, as well as major cost savings to individuals, their families and health services.
This award is in recognition that our area of research is saving lives, and will continue to save lives for as long as the food industry and the government continue to support salt reduction.”
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Action on Salt & the Salt Reduction Programme Summary
Action on Salt, led by Professor Graham MacGregor, is a group concerned with salt and its effects on health, supported by 24 expert scientific members. Action on Salt is successfully working to reach a consensus with the food industry and Government over the harmful effects of a high salt diet, and bring about a reduction in the amount of salt in processed foods as well as salt added to cooking, and at the table.
In the early 2000’s the UK pioneered a salt reduction strategy with the Food Standards Agency and Action on Salt with the setting of incremental salt targets, so that the food industry was slowly reducing the huge and unnecessary amounts of salt they add to food. This resulted in a fall in UK population salt intake, a fall in average blood pressure and more than 12,000 lives have been saved from preventing strokes and heart disease. However, in 2010 responsibility for salt reduction was switched to the Department of Health and the food industry was made responsible for policing itself, a policy that unsurprisingly failed. Further salt reduction targets were set to be achieved by the end of 2017 but little action has been taken to ensure the food industry is meeting these targets. PHE are now responsible for the UK salt reduction programme but, so far, very little has been achieved. All of the above has meant that the salt reduction programme has been slowed down with the result that many thousands of people have died unnecessarily and huge and unnecessary costs have been incurred by the NHS. Salt is the forgotten killer; the time has come for PHE to allocate sufficient resources to immediately resuscitate the UK salt reduction programme.