WHO Report Reveals Global Sodium Intake Reduction Is Off-Track
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a first-of-its-kind report on sodium intake reduction, revealing that the world is off-track to reach its global target of reducing sodium intake by 30% by 2025.
Sodium, an essential nutrient, increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and premature death when eaten in excess. Table salt (sodium chloride) is the primary source of sodium, but other seasonings, including sodium glutamate, also contain it.
According to the report, only 5% of WHO Member States are protected by mandatory and comprehensive sodium reduction policies and 73% of WHO Member States lack full range of implementation of such policies. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the average person consume no more than 5 grams of salt per day (one teaspoon), yet the global average salt intake is estimated to be 10.8 grams per day.
The WHO recommends a “comprehensive approach” to sodium reduction, including adopting mandatory policies and their four “best buy” interventions related with sodium which greatly contribute to preventing noncommunicable diseases. These include reformulating processed foods to contain less salt, establishing policies to limit sodium-rich foods in public institutions, and including front-of-package labeling that helps consumers select products lower in sodium.
Implementing these highly cost-effective sodium reduction policies could save an estimated 7 million lives globally by 2030. The WHO calls on Member States to implement sodium intake reduction policies without delay and to mitigate the harmful effects of excessive salt consumption. The WHO also calls on food manufacturers to set ambitious sodium reduction targets in their products.
The WHO says: “Massive efforts are needed to reduce salt intake and protect lives.” It is essential for countries to take action now to reduce sodium and reach the global target set for 2025.
0. “World Off Track on Goal to Reduce Sodium Intake, WHO Says” Bloomberg, 9 Mar. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-09/world-off-track-on-goal-to-reduce-sodium-intake-who-says
1. “WHO confirms global target to reduce sodium intake by 30 per cent by 2025” Euro Weekly News, 8 Mar. 2023, https://euroweeklynews.com/2023/03/08/who-confirms-global-target-to-reduce-sodium-intake-by-30-per-cent-by-2025
2. “‘Massive efforts' are needed to reduce salt intake and protect lives, World Health Organization says” CNN, 9 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/09/health/who-sodium-intake-reduction-wellness/index.html