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FSA Salt Campaign 2004-2009

Background

The Food standards Agency (FSA) in the UK has been working to help UK consumers reduce their salt intake. This has involved working in partnership with the UK food industry and health organizations to encourage product reformulation and to raise consumer awareness of health risks associated with eating too much salt.

Printed Publications in use

A consumer awareness campaign was developed. The salt campaign had four phases in its public awareness campaign. The first phase was launched in September 2004, with the key aim of ensuring that consumers were aware of why too much salt is bad for their health. The second phase of the campaign was launched in October 2005 and focused on encouraging consumers to check food labels for information on the salt content and raising awareness of the aim to eat no more than 6g of salt a day. The FSA launched the third phase of its public awareness campaign on in March 2007. The message focused on informing consumers that 75% of the salt we eat is already in everyday food and aimed to encourage and enabling consumers to choose products with lower levels of salt. The fourth phase of salt reduction campaign began in 2009 and following on from the ground work by the previous phases to further promote public awareness of salt in the diet.

TV advertising, posters and online consumer-focused information were developed to reach the vast majority of the general public. In addition, some particular attention was given to a very specific population group – women aged 35-65. Although men are more likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke, women continue to be the gatekeepers with regard to buying and preparing food in family households in UK. To reach this group, some printed materials were utilized, for instance, 1) articles in the women’s press, and 2) leaflets & credit-card-sized prompts with tips on how to cut down on salt, and 3) posters and booklets.

An FSA Salt Reduction Campaign Poster

Outcomes

After the third phase of the campaign and evaluation was carried out by the FSA. It found that the average adult consumes around 8.6g salt each day. Salt intakes had fallen about 10% since 2000. Although this shows an encouraging decline in salt intakes, many adults still consume more than the maximum amount of salt that is currently recommended (6g/day).

The printed publication Little Book of Salt (FSA) is now available in pdf form.