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Action on Salt


We have highlighted the following papers, which evaluate various aspects of the UK's salt reduction programme.

A modest reduction in salt intake for four or more weeks causes significant and, from a population viewpoint, important falls in blood pressure in both those with and without high blood pressure, irrespective of sex and ethnic group. These results support a reduction in population salt intake, which will lower population blood pressure and thereby reduce cardiovascular disease. The observed significant association between the reduction in salt intake and fall in blood pressure indicates that larger reductions in salt intake will lead to larger falls in blood pressure.

  • Salt reduction in England from 2003 to 2011: its relationship to blood pressure, stroke and ischaemic heart disease mortality

Click here to view: BMJ Open - Salt reduction in England [PDF 842KB]

From 2003 to 2011, there was a decrease in mortality from stroke by 42%  and from ischemic heart diseas by 40%. In parallel, there was a fall in average blood pressure and a drop in average population-level salt intake of 1.4g/day. The reduction in salt intake is likely to be an important contributor to the falls in BP from 2003 to 2011 in England. As a result, it would have contributed substantially to the decreases in stroke and IHD mortality.


  • Food and the responsibility deal: how the salt reduction strategy was derailed

Click here to view: The BMJ - Food and the Responsibility Deal [PDF 933KB]

The FSA became a world leader in improving nutrition, in particular pioneering the reduction in the amount of salt added to food by industry. In this article, we describe the UK’s successful salt reduction programme under the FSA and how Andrew Lansley and the coalition government have taken a major step backwards with the “responsibility deal.”

  • An executive summary of a new legal analysis, conducted by Prof Amandine Garde and Dr Oliver Bartlett 

Click to view: Rethinking the UK Salt Reduction Policy [PDF 113KB]

Excessive salt consumption is associated with a number of NCDs, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and raised blood pressure and cholesterol. While UK policy has been relatively successful to date in reducing the overall salt consumption of the population, there is scope for a more multifaceted approach that would lead to significant public health gains. This paper analyses the role that law-based interventions could play in salt reduction policy.

By explicitly grounding measures in the rights of individuals to enjoy health-promoting environments, especially where the measure aims at the protection of children, states will be in an even stronger position to counter trade and fundamental rights based legal challenges, and may even dissuade some of these challenges entirely.

  • Quantifying the impact of the Public Health Responsibility Deal on salt intake, cardiovascular disease and gastric cancer burdens: interrupted time series and microsimulation study (abstract)

Click to view: Quantifying the impact of the Public Health Responsibility Deal [PDF 344KB]

Anthony A Laverty, PhD; Christ Kypridemos; Paraskevi Seferidi; Eszter Vamos; Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard; Brendan Collins; Simon Capewell; Modi Mwatsama; Paul Cairney; Kate Fleming; Martin O'Flaherty; Christopher Millett.

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly promoted as a key mechanism to improve population health, including addressing dietary risk factors for non-communicable disease. In 2011, England introduced the Public Health Responsibility Deal (RD), a PPP which gave greater freedom to the food industry to set and monitor targets for sodium intakes, and replaced an internationally recognised scheme involving more independent scrutiny. We estimated the impact of the RD on trends in population level sodium intake and associated changes in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and gastric cancer (GCa) incidence and mortality and their economic costs in England from 2011-2025.


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