55403
53403
S&P/TSX
16162.31
+18.76
(0.12%)
S&P-CDNX
786.39
+5.04
(0.65%)
S&P-500
2712.97
-7.16
(-0.26%)
NASDAQ
7354.34
-28.13
(-0.38%)
Dow
24715.09
+1.11
(0.00%)
Dollar
0.7765
-0.0046
(-0.5940%)
Oil
71.37
-0.20
(-0.28%)
Gold
1291.70
+2.30
(+0.18%)
Silver
16.465
-0.016
(-0.10%)


Industry can't kick the salt

Voluntary sodium targets for the food industry have failed to significantly reduce the amount of salt consumers are getting in processed foods, suggesting additional measures are needed, Health Canada says.

Four years ago, the federal department introduced phased-in targets for cutting sodium in 94 categories of processed food, with the goal of meeting that objective by the end of 2016.

But a Health Canada report shows the food industry made no meaningful progress in curtailing salt levels in 45 of those categories (48 per cent) — based on a 2017 evaluation of about 10,500 sample products. In six of those categories, sodium content actually increased.

In all, products in only 14 per cent of the categories hit their targets, the report found.

"This is a release that shows, somewhat dismally, that industry really did not reduce their products down to the target and timelines that were indicated," Dr. Norm Campbell, a professor of medicine at the University of Calgary, said Tuesday.

Campbell was a member of the federally established Sodium Working Group, which made a number of recommendations in 2010 for lowering salt in Canadians' diets, including the use of incremental voluntary reductions.

The goal was to start by cutting the average per capita intake of salt to 2,300 milligrams a day by the end of 2016, although 1,500 milligrams is considered ideal for maintaining good health.

However, statistics show that about 80 per cent of Canadians consume more than 2,300 mg daily, with 93 per cent of children aged four to eight and 97 per cent of teenaged boys also exceeding the recommended sodium intake. In fact, the average Canadian ingests an average about 3,400 mg of sodium each day.

Processed foods account for 77 per cent of dietary sodium intake, with breads, processed meats, soups, cheeses, mixed dishes and sauces the top contributors.

"Ingesting excess sodium puts Canadians at risk for high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease," said Campbell, a founding member of Hypertension Canada.

More than 7.5 million Canadians have high blood pressure, or hypertension, and about one-third of those cases can be attributed to salt in the diet, he said, noting that dietary sodium is responsible for an estimated 10,000 deaths in Canada each year.



More Business News

55881
Data from CryptoCompare
Recent Trending
52640
Okanagan Oldies
55849
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
55418
Press Room
55606
55504