Professor Francesco Cappuccio knows what he is talking about. In this case, of salt, an issue that will be discussed in his speech at the meeting on noncommunicable diseases of the United Nations, which is held next September. Cappuccio has a clear message to convey: reduce the amount of salt in the daily diet (three grams less) could prevent the death of millions of people each year, because this measure would significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular accidents.

Reduce three grams of salt in the daily diet could prevent the death of 8,000 people due to stroke each year, and up to 12,000 as a result of heart disease, only in the United Kingdom

This is the conclusion that Cappuccio has drawn after conducting an investigation, which has been published in British Medical Journal, which shows that this decrease in daily salt intake would prevent the death of 8,000 people due to stroke each year, and up to 12,000 as a result of heart disease in the United Kingdom alone, while adopting the same measure in the United States mortality due to coronary conditions, it would decrease in 120,000 cases each year, 66,000 fewer people would die from stroke, and another 99,000 people would be spared a heart attack. In addition, health spending could be reduced by 24 billion dollars a year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) intends that, by 2025, it has been achieved that each person limits the consumption of salt to five grams a day. It is a difficult objective because many countries far exceed that amount. Thus, and according to the data of the study, in the United Kingdom consumes an average of almost nine grams of salt per day.

How to reduce salt intake

The question is how to reduce salt consumption effectively? The authors of the study warn that almost all the salt that we take is already in the food at the time of its commercialization, which prevents us from freely deciding on the salt content that we consider adequate.

For this reason, these specialists propose different strategies to be part of a comprehensive plan that aims to reduce salt consumption to healthy limits. To start, launch information campaigns to raise awareness among the population on the subject, with a subsequent follow-up to check its effectiveness.

They also aim to set targets so that the food industry progressively reduces the amount of salt that it incorporates into the food it processes, and that this lower amount of salt is established as a norm to follow in the production of new foods. In this regard, they consider it necessary for the food industry to have the backing of a regulation that affects all companies equally, so that none is at a disadvantage compared to the others.


Sodium Reduction: Time for Choice (November 2019).