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U.N. Should Make Reduction In Salt Intake A Global Health Priority, Researchers Say

Researchers from the Universities of Warwick and Liverpool in a report published on Thursday in the British Medical Journal called for the U.N. to “make reducing salt intake a global health priority,” stating that “a 15 percent cut in consumption could save 8.5 million lives around the world over the next decade,” BBC News reports. “The researchers say there is a ‘consistent, direct relation between salt intake and blood pressure,'” which “in turn is linked to heart disease, stroke and kidney problems,” and “[t]hey point to the U.S., where cutting salt intake by a third would save tens of thousands of lives and save up to $24 billion annually in health care costs,” the news agency reports.

“But with 70 percent of deaths from strokes and heart attacks occurring in developing countries, the report says the impact of reduced intake would be global,” BBC notes (McGrath, 8/12). “‘Cost savings are also estimated for a reduction in salt intake of 15 percent in low- and middle-income countries, with 13.8 million deaths averted over 10 years at an initial cost of less than $0.40 per person per year,’ researchers wrote,” the International Business Times reports (8/12). “[T]he researchers warn that both widespread education and engagement with the food industry will be needed to limit the salt content of processed foods,” BBC writes (8/12).