News story

Salt strategy aims to reduce our salt consumption by a quarter

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new salt strategy sets out plans to help us cut down on the amount of salt we eat, and sets targets for the catering and takeaway sector.

The Public Health Responsibility Deal’s food network has published its new salt strategy.

It sets out plans to further reduce salt in the nation’s diet towards the 6g a day goal.

The strategy will:

  • revise the 2012 salt targets for industry by the end of the year to encourage companies to reformulate recipes
  • push the catering and takeaway sector to do more – by setting new maximum targets for the most popular dishes like sandwiches and chips
  • ask companies to help people choose lower salt options – through promotional and other activities
  • get more companies across the food industry to sign up to salt reduction

Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said:

Today our typical shopping basket contains much less salt than it did 10 years ago but more needs to be done to help lower these levels even further.

Through the Responsibility Deal, we are working with the food industry to make sure people are given healthier options with less salt in their favourite foods. The voluntary approach is working and we have already seen results in our everyday foods, but to get the greatest impact, we need more companies pledging to reduce salt levels, particularly in the catering and take away sector.

The UK is world-leading in salt reduction but more needs to be done to reach our goal of no more than 6g a day. This is because eating too much salt can have a serious impact on people’s health – causing high blood pressure, which could lead to heart disease and stroke. Currently 90 companies have signed up to make salt reduction a priority, and we want to see real action from many more.

Research figures show that more than half the public (53%) rarely or never consider the amount of salt when buying food, despite more than 4 in 5 people (86%) knowing that too much salt is bad for their health.