FOOD RELATED diseases are one of the biggest threats to the nation’s health, partly due to the high levels of salt, fat and sugar in processed food.
But the UK’s successful salt reduction programme is under threat after Andrew Lansley took responsibility away from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), claims a new paper in the BMJ. The UK’s salt reduction programme set specific salt reduction targets for 86 categories of food, which were reset every 4 years. A collaboration with the food industry, the FSA and Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), the targets remained voluntary, but monitoring of the food industry was maintained, ensuring no company lagged behind.
As a result, significant reductions in salt intake were made at a population level, consequently reducing blood pressure and resulting in fewer deaths from heart attack and stroke. Since responsibility for nutrition was taken away from the FSA by the coalition government, CASH is worried these gains could be lost, and the organisation is calling for appointment of an independent agency to improve nutrition, and a transparent monitoring programme.