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Food facts: Department of Health Melanie Johnson MP
Sir Liam Donaldson and Sir John Krebs were delighted to have hosted the salt stakeholder event and see first hand the commitment from the industry to reducing salt in the diet. An extremely fruitful discussion took place and a number of stakeholders have already committed to action to reduce salt in foods.
Action plans from all stakeholders were requested by 27 February 2004 on how they would tackle the reduction of salt. These included information on the following:
reducing salt in food (with a focus on action across all food categories);
targets including what they are based on, implementation and timescales;
education, including consumers, health professionals, and other stakeholders; and
The Government will be undertaking a similar exercise to add to the extensive work already underway.
The actions will help to protect the health of the nation – lowering average salt intakes will proportionately lower population average blood pressure and therefore contribute to decreasing the burden of cardiovascular disease. Each year, hypertension contributes to around 100,000 deaths from heart disease and 50,000 deaths from stroke. Prevention is key.