Public Health England (PHE) has announced the next stage of engagement is set to begin with the food industry and health charities on voluntary salt reduction targets.
This follows the Government’s commitment to its Green Paper, ‘Advancing Our Health: Prevention in the 2020s’, to reduce the amount of salt in everyday foods, including bacon, baked beans and crisps. PHE hopes this will help reduce the pressure on the NHS and save lives.
The Government recommends that adults should eat 6g of salt per day. However, a recent survey found English adults on average consume 8g with some people consuming over 20g a day.
The Green Paper has set out to reduce salt consumption to 7g per day. Eating too much salt is a leading cause increased blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and an early death.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: “The UK food industry has led the world in gradually reducing salt in foods resulting in huge amounts being taken out of the nation’s diet, with people barely noticing any difference in the taste to their food.
“Good progress has been made but many of us are still eating too much salt including from everyday foods. The health risks can be devastating as too much salt can increase our risk of high blood pressure, leading to heart disease and stroke.”
It is predicted by reducing the average daily intake of salt to 7g it could prevent 1,500 premature deaths and save the NHS over £140 million annually.
Most of the salt we consume is already in the food we buy so PHE believes it is important that the food industry works to reduce the salt in the food it produces.