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Food: Salt

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the proportion of the population which consumes six grams or less of salt per day. (206112)

The last estimate of salt intakes, via urinary analysis, which was carried out in 2005-06 suggests that 11 per cent. of men and 30 per cent. of women, aged 19 to 64 years, consumed an average of 6 grams of salt or less per day.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance the Food Standards Agency provides to specific sub-groups of the population on dietary salt intake. (206113)

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends an average intake of 6 grams of salt a day for adults and children over the age of 11. Lower recommendations have been set, pro rata, for children under that age.

Guidance on achieving these recommendations is on the FSA’s website at:

www.salt.gov.uk

in written resources, and has been made more widely available though the FSA’s mass media campaigns which have included specific projects targeted at providing information to particular sub groups such as parents, children, ethnic minorities and older people.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of its joint campaign with the Food Standards Agency to reduce average daily salt intake. (206158)

The Food Standards Agency has in place a programme to monitor the effectiveness of its consumer campaign and reductions in average population daily salt intakes as a result of the overall salt reduction programme.

Evaluations of the three-phase consumer campaign have shown that the number of consumers claiming to be cutting down on salt increased to as much as one-third. Since the start of the campaign there has also been a 10-fold increase in awareness of the 6 grams (g) a day message and the number of consumers trying to cut down on salt by checking the label has doubled.

The results of a urinary analysis survey that took place in 2005-06 showed a small but significant fall in the average population daily salt intake of 0.5 g. Further urinary analysis survey results are expected in July 2008.