Friday, July 19, 2019

Relaxed salt regulations linked to 9,900 cases of cardiovascular disease and 1,500 cancer cases

News Release 18-Jul-2019
Imperial College London

A relaxation of UK industry regulation of salt content in food has been linked with 9,900 additional cases of cardiovascular disease, and 1,500 cases of stomach cancer.

Researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Liverpool analysed the salt intake of the population in England over thirteen years to compare the effect of changes in regulations on how much salt manufacturers can use in their products.


Salt intake has been linked to an increase in cardiovascular disease - including heart attacks and stroke - as well as to an increased risk of stomach cancers. Adults are advised to eat no more than 6g (one teaspoon) a day, or 3g a day for children. However, adults in England are thought to eat an average of 8g a day and two in three people consume too much salt - with most of this coming from processed foods such as bread, processed meats and ready meals.


The researchers also found this additional disease burden hit the UK economy, as well as the nation's health. They estimated that relaxing the food industry regulations cost the economy around £160millon from 2011-2017. That included healthcare costs of extra heart attacks, strokes and cancer cases, and the loss of productivity due to workplace absences.


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