Calm salt policy in the UK tied to more heart disease, cancer

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(Reuters Health) – The salt consumption in England has slowed since the 2011 change in government policy gave the food industry greater freedom to set and monitor targets to prevent salt intake, reflecting a new study. .

PHOTO FILE: Traditional English breakfast is served at Alford House in Corfe Castle, Britain, July 21, 2018. REUTERS / Peter Cziborra

As a result, researchers consider that more British developed heart disease or gastric cancer than would have been the case under the more severe policy.

Between 2003 and 2010, average salt intake fell annually by 0.20 grams per day in men and 0.12 grams per day in women. However, progress between 2011 and 2014 slowed when the average annual salt intake fell by only 0.11 grams per day in men and 0.07 grams per day among women.

“The old system set independent targets for salt reduction and monitored these,” said Anthony Laverty, lead study and public health researcher at Imperial College London. “There was an incentive for the food industry to change foods with less salt, along with the introduction of a number of public awareness campaigns and food labeling.” T

But after 2011, “the industry did not have the same level of scrutiny as their efforts to reduce salt in foods,” said Laverty by email.

Nutritional salt can damage the lining of the stomach, which may lead to gastric cancer over time, previous research has found. Too many salts are also linked to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.

Using computer simulations, the researchers considered the impact of salt policy change on salt-related disease patterns in the population. From 2011 to 2018, the annual smaller reductions in sodium intake could account for around 9,000 additional cases of cardiovascular disease and 1,500 other cases of gastrointestinal cancer than in the previous salt policy, the study team reports. in the Epidemiology & Community Health Journal.

If the current policy remains in place, it could cause an additional 26,000 cases of cardiovascular disease and 3,800 cases of gastric cancer between 2019 and 2025, researchers estimate.

These additional cases of cardiovascular disease and cancer contributed up to 160 million British pounds ($ 199.89 million) in additional healthcare costs and lost productivity between 2011 and 2018, the researchers calculated. And if the current policy continues, the additional health costs and lost productivity will be more than 1 billion pounds by 2025, estimated.

Adults should not consume more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium a day, that is the amount obtained in about 5 grams or spoon of salt teas, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Men and women in the UK spend much more salt than they should: an average of 9.1 grams per day for men and 6.7 grams per day for women from 2014, the study team notes.

Table salt not only contains sodium, but in various foods such as bread, milk, eggs, meat, and shellfish as well as processed items such as pre-fuels, popcorn, soy sauce and bouillon or stock cubes.

The study did not prove that the slowdown in annual consumption cuts of salt created additional disease cases. The researchers also examined trends for the total population and did not look at health outcomes for individuals based on their specific levels of salt consumption.

It is also unclear whether salt intake would continue to decline at a pace before 2011 in the absence of a policy change in the UK, said Dr Dariush Mozaffarian from Friedman's Nutrition & Science Policy at Tufts University.

“There were lots of talents easier & easier; in reducing sodium already leveraged by 2012: it is much easier to lower sodium in certain products, with modest amounts, than decreases or greater decreases in other types of products, ”said Mozaffarian, who had not been involved in the study, said the email. “Further linear reductions are unlikely to be achieved at the same speed.”

As a result of the current salt policies and previous salt policies in the UK salt intake was reduced, indicating that more than one approach could help, Mozaffarian added.

SOURCE: bit.ly/2OgXV5g Epidemiology and Community Health Journal, online July 18, 2019.

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(TTTranslate tags) US (t) HEALTH (t) HOME (t) SALT (t) Hypertension / High Blood Pressure (t) Health Care Policy (t) Heart Disease / Cardiac (t) Health / Medicine (t) Living / Lifestyle ( t) Epidemiology (t) Cancer (t) Gastric Disorders (t) Industrial Diet and Promotion (TBC) (t) Public Health (t) Cardio (t) Regulation (t) Healthcare ( TRBC) (t) United Kingdom

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