Results of salt reduction initiatives – Importance of salt substitutes in salt reduction initiatives

Results of Salt Reduction Initiatives

The results of the different initiatives that were measured and published are summarized in the table below1:

With very few exceptions, salt consumption in countries with ongoing reduction initiatives decreased significantly. A number of detailed investigations of reduction initiatives was conducted, reviewed, and revealed following results:

  • Multi-component strategies involving both upstream and downstream interventions, generally achieved the biggest reductions in salt consumption.
  • Initiatives can be sorted with view to their efficiency to reduce salt consumption in the following order: Mandatory reformulation > voluntary reformulation > school interventions > short term dietary advice> Tax and community based counselling > health education media campaigns.

Importance of Salt Substitutes in Salt Reduction Initiatives

Most interventions simply aim to reduce salt consumption via change of eating habits towards less salty food (i.e. less eating out, less convenience food). The industry aims to gradually gradually reduce saltiness of products over longer periods of time to accustom their clients to less salty food. Only a small part of the initiatives aim for a replacement of salt with salt substitutes. These initiatives include dietary education, advertising of salt substitutes, and more importantly, replacement of salt with salt substitutes in the reformulation of processed food. In industrial reformulation, salt substitutes not only help to maintain the level of saltiness to the clients’ taste, but also provide other salt benefits, i.e. extended shelf life and pleasant food texture.

1 Santos JA, Tekle D, Rosewarne E, Flexner N, Cobb L, Al-Jawaldeh A, Kim WJ, Breda J, Whiting S, Campbell N, Neal B, Webster J, Trieu K. A Systematic Review of Salt Reduction Initiatives Around the World: A Midterm Evaluation of Progress Towards the 2025 Global Non-Communicable Diseases Salt Reduction Target. Adv Nutr. 2021 Oct 1;12(5):1768-1780.


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