Salt consumption between 2001 and 2008 fell from 9.5g to
8.6g, while the FSA wants an average of 6.0g. Excess salt intake causes high
blood pressure, which is linked to heart attack and stroke.
"We are encouraged that action to reduce the average
amount of salt we are eating on a daily basis is clearly having a positive
impact," said Tim Smith, FSA chief executive. "We have listened to
the experience of industry and are aware of the food safety, consumer
acceptance and technical difficulties involved in taking salt out of
The FSA confirmed the fall in levels of salt intake by
testing urine samples of 600 volunteers. It will now target makers of foods
such as bacon and ham, sausages, crisps and cakes to reduce salt.
Reacting to this
news, Professor Graham McGregor, from Consensus Action on Salt and Health said,
"This is the most important news that we have heard about health and
eating for a long time. The UK is leading the world in the drive to save lives
by cutting salt and many other countries are now starting to follow the UK