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Australian Researchers Urge Government To Mandate Salt Reductions In Processed Food

November 1, 2010: 07:38 AM EST

Voluntary reductions in the salt content of processed foods have proven cost-effective in terms of improving health and lowering healthcare spending, according to an Australian study, but government-mandated reductions would be even more effective. Dietary advice targeted at individuals was found not to be cost-effective, even among people at risk for high blood pressure. Researchers said the current voluntary salt reduction efforts in the Australian food industry could be 20 times more effective if the government imposed “moderate salt limits” in processed foods. The researchers said heart disease rates could be cut by 18 percent if the government forced food manufacturers to lower salt content. "If corporate responsibility fails, maybe there is an ethical justification for government to step in and legislate," the authors wrote.

Linda J Cobiac, Theo Vos, J Lennert Veerman, "Cost-effectiveness of interventions to reduce dietary salt intake", Heart, November 01, 2010, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Cardiovascular Society
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