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Medical experts launch global campaign against salt

194 medical experts from 48 countries around the world (1) have today joined together to launch a new global organisation, WASH World Action on Salt and Health in a concerted effort to reduce dietary salt intake to less than 5g per day per adult (the WHO target), in order to lower blood pressure globally.

Raised blood pressure is the biggest single cause of cardiovascular disease accounting for 62% of strokes and 49% of heart disease (2). Strokes and coronary heart disease kill more people around the world than any other cause of death around 12.7 million people each year (3). It is estimated that reducing salt intake by 6g a day could lead to a 24% reduction in deaths from strokes and an 18% reduction in deaths from coronary heart disease, thus preventing approximately 2.6 million stroke and heart attack deaths each year worldwide (4).

In order to save these lives, the main aims of the new organisation will be to:

  • Persuade international food companies to employ a global salt reduction plan, so that not only will the salt content of their processed food products be reduced but it will be uniform in each country they market in
  • Ensure that the body of evidence from the scientific community about the dangers of excessive salt consumption, is translated into policy by each individual Government around the world
  • Reduce salt added at home during cooking and at the table through a combination of media publicity and public health campaigns e.g. the Food Standards Agency campaign in the UK (http://www.salt.gov.uk/index.shtml)

WASH research has highlighted the huge variations in salt levels in the same food product purchased in different countries around the world (see tables at end of release). Some of the incredible discrepancies uncovered include:

  • Kelloggs Coco Pops in Australia have 1.41g salt per 100g while the similar product i
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Contact: Emma Orpilla
eorpilla@george.org.au
61-299-934-592
Research Australia
4-Oct-2006


Page: 1 2 3

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