The UK is consuming the same amount of salt as it was three years ago, despite numerous campaigns, according to Public Health England (PHE). 

The results of the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey assessment of dietary sodium have been published by PHE. They highlight that the UK population is consuming the same amount of salt as in 2011 (8.1g/day in 2011 vs 8.0g/day measured in 2014).

In response, campaign group Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) has called on the government to “immediately set up an independent agency responsible for nutrition to stop adding large and unnecessary amounts of salt, fat and sugar to our food”.

PHE said in a statement that between 2011 and 2014, there was no fall in salt intake.

CASH said that The Responsibility Deal, which was drawn up in 2010, made the food industry responsible for policing themselves, and this was an error. It said: “This programme resulted, as expected, in the majority of companies not sticking to the targets that had been set, not being properly monitored and the deal is currently suspended.

“This is a national tragedy as every gram of salt reduction saves approximately 6-7,000 deaths per year from strokes and heart disease, 4,000 per year of which are premature.”

"Tragedy for public health"

Professor Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London, and chairman of CASH, said: “This is a tragedy for public health.

“Cameron must take charge and set up robust mechanisms to control the food industry, with regulated targets for salt, sugar and fat. Without this, many more thousands of people will die and suffer unnecessarily, and it will be the final nail in an almost bankrupt NHS.”