salt targets

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Salt targets - Blood Pressure Association comment

UK charity the Blood Pressure Association has responded to the publication today (18 May 2009) of revised salt reduction targets by the Food Standards Agency.

As part of its drive to reduce people's risk of developing heart disease, the Food Standards Agency has published voluntary salt reduction targets for the industry to meet by 2012. Around 75% of the salt we eat is already in everyday foods. The targets have been set for those foods which are eaten the most, such as bread, meat products and cereals, as well as convenience foods like pizza and savoury snacks.

Mike Rich, Executive Director of the Blood Pressure Association, said: “We are a nation addicted to salt, and the food industry has a huge responsibility to help us wean ourselves off the 'white stuff'.*

“It's encouraging to see the work being done to reduce the salt content of many of our manufactured foods, but it's disappointing that the original recommendations for bread - a staple of our diets and a major contributor to our daily salt intake - are being relaxed.

“Some of the leading retailers have shown it is possible to achieve and even exceed the initial targets for reducing salt in bread, so this should be the case for all. Until then, we would urge the UK public to use their loaves and go for the lowest salt options when choosing their daily bread."

*Salt raises blood pressure, which dramatically increases risk of heart attack and stroke.
Reducing salt intake by just one more gram a day would prevent almost 6,000 deaths a year (Professor Graham MacGregor, '100 people will die today...', CASH press release, Dec 2003).

Notes to editors:
For further information from the Blood Pressure Association, contact Anna Cureton at the BPA's Press Office on 020 8772 4993.

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