Friday, 4 May 2012

Reducing salt intake

Recently the European Commission published a report on the implementation of the EU Salt Reduction Framework by the Member States. The Member States were asked by the European Commission to take voluntary national initiatives in 2008 that would lead to reducing salt (specifically, sodium) intake among European citizens by a minimum of 16% over 4 years. The questionnaire was sent to Member States in February 2010 as to the results of the measures taken from mid 2008 until the end of 2009.

Medical evidence shows that current levels of sodium consumption in Europe lead to an increased blood pressure, as well as increase a risk of cardiovascular and renal disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends not more than 2 grams of sodium (5 grams of salt) per day. On average the salt consumption in the EU is estimated to be in the range of 8-12 grams per day.

While the report indicates that there is no data available yet on whether the initiatives led to any changes in salt consumption, all Member States and Norway and Switzerland participate therein. 15 countries developed new public awareness campaigns on salt intake in the past three years. 13 countries managed to reach specific commitments from food companies to reduce salt in their products. For more data, see the report.

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