High salt consumption around the world is contributing to high blood pressure, which is one of the biggest contributors to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and stroke.
Population-wide salt reduction is a highly cost-effective intervention to reduce the growing burden of chronic diseases. Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) have agreed to a target to reduce salt consumption by 30% towards the WHO’s recommended amount of 5 grams of salt per day. A recent review identified that 75 countries now have national programs in place. Sixty-one of these include efforts to engage the food industry to reduce salt in manufactured foods, but relatively few are mandated through legislation. Few countries in Africa have salt reduction strategies, but South Africa has implemented salt reduction targets across a wide range of foods in June 2016, supported by a national salt reduction awareness campaign.