UK: Salt reduction needed from early age, says research
New research findings released by a UK health action group has proven that salt reduction lowers blood pressure in children.
Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) has commented on analysis of salt reduction studies in children, published in the November edition of medical journal Hypertension. The report demonstrated that reducing children's salt intake by half results in immediate decrease in blood pressure, and could lead to major reductions in the risk of developing stroke, heart attacks and heart failure later in life.
Jo Butten, nutritionist for CASH, said: "The UK is leading the world in making reductions in the salt content of manufactured foods and some children's foods have had their salt content reduced, but sadly many other manufacturers are still stuffing salt into their products and marketing them to children. They need to take immediate action to reduce these unnecessary and very high salt concentrations. For parents who want to give children the best start in life, the advice is simple - don't buy these very salty foods marketed at children, stop cooking with salt and don't let your children add salt to their food."
In reaction to the findings, Food and Drink Federation director of communications Julian Hunt said: "CASH has recognised that UK food manufacturers have taken the lead on salt reductions. Consumers young and old are benefiting from enormous cuts in salt in a whole range of processed foods, and industry is committed to doing more. Industry has worked very closely with the Food Standards Agency to reduce salt in foods eaten by children such as bread, breakfast cereals and soups with other products such as potato crisps and biscuits also making tremendous cuts.
"Additionally, more and more manufacturers are helping consumers see at a glance how much salt is in their foods by putting information on the front of packs and including salt equivalence."
Furthermore, the consensus added that higher blood pressure in childhood transfers to adulthood, and that anything that lowers blood pressure in children is likely to reduce the number of people developing high blood pressure later in life.
Dr Feng He, from the Blood Pressure Unit of St Georges University of London, who carried out the meta-analysis, said: "We already know that a modest reduction of salt intake in adults causes very worthwhile falls in blood pressure but this new research now strongly supports the same policy of salt reduction in children. Children who eat less salt are likely to have a much lower risk of developing high blood pressure when they grow up and this spells out the potential for large reductions in strokes, heart attacks and heart failure, the commonest causes of death and disability worldwide."
Companies: Food and Drink Federation
Last year, a major promotional campaign in the UK warned of the dangers of high salt intake, linking it to increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. But the campaign, run by Consensus A...
As the UK's Food Standards Agency publishes guidelines for food companies on how to reduce the prevalence of food contaminations and how to act when they occur, researchers in Canada have suggested th...
The seventh Food Standards Agency (FSA) English Regions Consumer Attitudes to Food Survey, published yesterday (22 February), has revealed that healthy eating is a key concern for consumers, with many...
The UK's Food and Drink Federation has backed guidance from the Food Standards Agency designed to help firms respond more effectively to food incidents....
UK consumer group Which? has criticised food manufacturers and retailers for their failure to communicate the often high sugar content of savoury foods through adequate labelling....
The UK's Food Standards Agency has called on food manufacturers to make smaller portion sizes and reduced fat alternatives more readily available in a bid to improve the nation's diet....
A leading industry executive has defended the UK food market's record in reducing salt levels in food products, claiming the country is leading the world when it comes to reformulation. However, he co...
Average salt intake in the UK has declined from 9.5g in 2001 to 9g a day now, new research from the Food Standards Agency has found. However, this is still considerably higher than the government's re...
- just-food 2017 Survey - your thoughts on growth
- 2017 - what will shape the UK food sector?
- Food market in 2017: need-to-know US trends
- Food market in 2017: big foodservice trends
- Could BRF's Turkey move pave way for OneFoods IPO?
- Ferrero insists Nutella not pulled from shelves
- UK's Bakkavor plays down IPO "speculation"
- Dairy giant Muller appoints new CFO, COO
- PepsiCo launches Walkers Mediterranean in UK
- Kellogg announces new "nutritious" line-up