In a new statement, researchers suggest salt sold in supermarkets and salt shakers in restaurants should be required to carry a front-of-pack, tobacco-style health warning.
They say it is time for a more hard-hitting approach to dietary salt reduction
The research was done by a team from The World Hypertension League and leading international health organizations.
Unhealthy diets are a leading cause of death globally and excess salt consumption is the biggest culprit, estimated to cause over 3 million deaths globally in 2017.
Eating too much salt increases people’s blood pressure which is one of the biggest contributors to premature death from stroke or heart disease.
The World Health Organization established a target for countries to reduce sodium intake by 30% by 2025, and governments and the food industry have been working together to reduce salt in processed foods.
Although most countries require sodium levels on labels in processed foods, they are difficult for people to interpret and don’t warn of any health risks.
The researchers say health warnings on salt package and dispensers would be a simple, cost-effective way of conveying the dangers of salt to billions of people worldwide.
Most people aren’t aware that the amount of salt they are consuming is raising their blood pressure and shortening their lives.
Warning labels on packaged foods and menus can help people make healthier choices. Adding warning labels to all salt packaging is another way to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
The authors proposed the following wording for the warning: “Excess sodium can cause high blood pressure and promote stomach cancer. Limit your use.”
The lead author of the study is Dr. Norm Campbell, former President of the World Hypertension League.
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.
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