The most accurate way to measure salt intake is to measure the amount of salt (sodium) passed in urine. Dietary recalls or similar methods tend to be inaccurate as people may forget what they ate, or are not truthful because they know they should eat less salt. The government has carried out several urinary sodium analyses, the most recent of which was in 2018/19 (published 2020).
24-hour urine collections are taken from a sample of people designed to represent the population of England. All the people selected to take part are between the ages of 19 and 64, and they come from different locations and socio-economic backgrounds.
The results of the urinary sodium analyses show that the UK population has not significantly changed their salt intake since 2014 and the average salt intake is still higher than the population target maximum of 6g per day. In fact, the results suggest there has been no change in estimated population salt intake since 2008/2009.
Table 1: Salt intakes in the UK as measured by 24-hour urinary sodium