Britain needs to tax salt like sugar, says Heart Charity | Heart Attack

The minister needs to introduce a new sugar tax-style tax on the amount of salt in food to reduce heart attacks and strokes, said a major British heart charity.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) urged the government to tax high levels of salt on Tuesday in an attempt to stop food companies and retailers from adding such large amounts of salt to their products.

Many foods, such as breakfast cereals, meat products, cheeses, and potato-based dishes, are said to contain anxiously high levels of salt in BHF. However, other types of foods that are widely considered to be very healthy, such as fish dishes and canned vegetables, are often high in salt.

Per capita consumption of salt declined from over 9g to 8.1ga days in the early 2000s, when the Food Standards Agency used a rigorous approach admired by doctors and public health professionals to produce food. I instructed people to reduce their usage. However, progress towards achieving the government’s own goal of 6g a day stopped around 2010 when the conservative-led coalition government began to rely on companies to voluntarily reduce salt.

Salt is the leading cause of high blood pressure, the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes, killing tens of thousands of people annually.

Bar graph of salt intake

UK Public Health Services estimates that 85% of the salt people consume is already in food at the time of purchase, and consumers only add the remaining 15% while cooking or at the table. ..

“The progress in reducing salt in the foods we eat has stagnated in recent years, so the government needs to learn lessons from the successful taxation of the soft drink industry. Take the courage to overcome this deadly problem. We need to have it and act now, “said Dr. Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of BHF.

She added that the new salt tax will help the government achieve its ambition to live a healthy life for another five years by 2035. In addition, a new analysis of BHF by Health Lumen shows that 1.4 million fewer people will live with high blood pressure, 49,000 fewer strokes and 1,235,000 fewer cases of heart disease by 2035.

The sugar tax introduced in 2018 leads to many sugar drinks with much lower sugar content and is credited to households consuming an average of 30g less sugar per week than before the tax was levied. ..

Last year’s national food strategy, commissioned by the government from chef and co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain Henry Dimbleby, recommended a salt tax. However, it is one of many proposals for documents aimed at making British food healthier and more sustainable, and the Minister has decided not to include it in recent food white papers. Please please the food industry.

Action on Salt campaign manager Sonia Pombo endorsed the BHF call. “Reducing salt is the most cost-effective way to lower blood pressure and reduce the number of people who die and suffer unnecessarily from stroke or heart disease. Its beauty is its simplicity, but too. For a long time, the British government has allowed the food industry to take charge of public health at our expense.

“If our ministers are serious about reducing health inequality, they are now in the food industry to reduce the salt they add to the food we buy, just as other countries have succeeded. Must introduce compulsory policy measures, “she said.

The Ministry of Health has set new goals for 2020 to reduce the salt content of commonly eaten foods by 2024 and said, “We continue to work with the food industry to achieve these.”

“We will begin further action to level national health and address inequality through a white paper later this year,” a spokesman added.

The saltiest food in the UK, according to the British Heart Foundation

  • Grains: It is already known to contain large amounts of sugar, and many grains contain a lot of salt.

  • Cold Meat: Some have a salty taste, such as smoked or salted meat, while others, such as turkey and chicken slices, contain what BHF calls “a lot of sneaky salt.”

  • Cheese and Butter: Well known for being high in saturated fat, many also worriedly contain high levels of salt.

  • Potato Snacks: Potato chips and some of the pre-salted chips are one of the worst criminals in this category.

  • Bread: Consumers need to be aware of the salt levels of bread and bread rolls that are sprinkled with salt or studded with olives, BHF advises.

  • Nibbles: Capers, anchovies and olives all increase the salt content of food.

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