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UK’s salt reduction deal with industry is linked to extra heart disease and stroke cases, research finds

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4748 (Published 19 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4748
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The government’s voluntary pact with the food industry, which aims to reduce salt content, may have contributed to 9900 additional cases of heart disease or stroke and 1500 cases of stomach cancer from 2011 to 2018, new research has concluded.1

The study looked at the impact of the public health responsibility deal, introduced in England in 2011, which gave the food industry greater freedom to set and monitor targets for salt intake.

Researchers found that, after the deal, yearly declines in salt intake fell significantly, and they estimated that this could be responsible for thousands of extra cases of conditions associated with excess dietary salt. They have now called for Public Health England to implement a more robust policy.

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