UK Needs to Cut Down on Salt

Sep 15, 2004 01:05 PM EDT

major campaign by the British government is hoping to persuade people to limit salt intake.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said at least 26 million people eat more than the recommended daily limit of 6g of salt on a daily basis. Men are eating almost double that, with a daily average of 11g of salt while women consume an average of 8.1g a day.

Most is from processed foods

The FSA report states that approximately 75% of salt consumed is from processed foods, 10-15% is added by consumers and 10-15% is naturally present in food.

The food agency said high blood pressure is a cause or contributing factor in 170,000 deaths a year in England.

However, studies show that reducing salt in the diet can lower blood pressure within four weeks—helping not only the individual but also the National Health Service, which spends about $1.6 billion/US on prescriptions for reducing high blood pressure.