UK advertising watchdog rejects complaint from salt makers

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Salt, Food, Hypertension

Sensitivities over salt heightened as UK advertising watchdog
rejects complaint by salt makers over advert from the country's
food agency.

p> Part of a campaign to encourage consumers to slash salt from their diets, the advert from the Food Standards Agency bore the text: "Too much salt is bad for your heart"

The Salt Manufacturers Association complained that the concept of "too much salt" was immeasurable, challenging whether the information implied salt was bad for your heart and could kill you.

But ASA​, the advertising authority, considered that the FSA salt claim was "acceptable".

Eating too much salt is a significant risk factor in developing high blood pressure, itself a cause or contributing factor in the rising incidence of heart disease, the world's number one killer.

Concern over salt consumption and rising cardiovascular linked diseases drove the FSA advert, part of a campaign to encourage consumers to reduce their salt consumption.

Blair's government in the White Paper on Public Health recently issued target levels of 6g a day following findings that men are eating a daily average of 11.0g of salt while women consume an average of 8.1g a day.

Identifying the food industry as playing a key role in achieving this aim, food makers are under intense pressure to reduce salt in their food formulations.

The FSA claims about 75 per cent of salt consumed is from processed foods, 10-15 per cent added by consumers and 10-15 per cent is naturally present in food.

Food makers are making inroads into reducing salt. Breakfast cereals leader Kellogg, for example, last week launched​ a new version of its flagship corn-flake product with 25 per cent less salt.

The 25 per cent salt reduction also applies to other Kellogg's brands based on corn flakes - including Kellogg's Frosties and Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes.

Speaking to FoodNavigator.com, a spokesperson for Kellogg's said the firm had not replaced the 25 cent reduction in salt with any other ingredient.

"There is no additional sodium, but slightly more corn."

Last month the UK's government-funded Food Standards Agency reported that more than 60 organisations and companies had submitted plans committing to reduce the level of salt in processed foods.

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