Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Labelling the salt content in foods: a useful tool in reducing sodium intake in Finland

  • Pirjo Pietinen (a1), Liisa M Valsta (a1), Tero Hirvonen (a1) and Harri Sinkko (a1)

Abstract

Objective

To estimate the impact of choosing food products labelled either as low or high in salt on salt intake in the Finnish adult population.

Setting and subjects

The National FINDIET 2002 survey with 48-hour recalls from 2007 subjects aged 25–64 years. Sodium intake was calculated based on the Fineli® food composition database including the sodium content of natural and processed foods as well as the salt content of recipes. The distribution of salt intake was calculated in different ways: the present situation; assuming that all breads, cheeses, processed meat and fish, breakfast cereals and fat spreads consumed would be either ‘lightly salted’ or ‘heavily salted’ based on the current labelling practice; and, in addition, assuming that all foods would be prepared with 50% less or more salt.

Results

Excluding underreporters, the mean salt intake would be reduced by 1.8 g in men and by 1.0 g in women if the entire population were to choose lightly salted products and further by 2.5 and 1.8 g, respectively, if also salt used in cooking were halved. Choosing heavily salted products would increase salt intake by 2.1 g in men and by 1.4 g in women. In the worst scenarios, salt intake would be further increased by 2.3 g in men and by 1.6 g in women.

Conclusions

These calculations show that the potential impact of labelling and giving consumers the possibility to choose products with less salt is of public health importance. In addition, strategies to reduce the salt content of all food groups are needed.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Labelling the salt content in foods: a useful tool in reducing sodium intake in Finland
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Labelling the salt content in foods: a useful tool in reducing sodium intake in Finland
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Labelling the salt content in foods: a useful tool in reducing sodium intake in Finland
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author: Email pirjo.pietinen@ktl.fi

References

Hide All
1Laatikainen, T, Pietinen, P, Valsta, L, Sundvall, J, Reinivuo, H, Tuomilehto, J. Sodium in the Finnish diet: 20-year trends in urinary sodium excretion among the adult population. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2006; 60: 965970.
2Young, L, Swinburn, B. Impact of the pick the tick food information programme on the salt content of food in New Zealand. Health Promotion International 2002; 17: 1319.
3Sharp, D. Labelling salt in food: if yes, how? Lancet 2004; 364: 20792080.
4He, FJ, MacGregor, GA. Salt in food. Lancet 2006; 365: 844845.
5 World Health Organization (WHO). Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. WHO Technical Report Series No. 916. Geneva: WHO, 2003.
6Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2004. Integrating nutrition and physical activity. Nord 2004:13. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers, 2004.
7 Männistö S, Ovaskainen M-L, Vasta L, eds. The National Findiet 2002 Study. Publications of the National Public Health Institute B3/2003. Helsinki: Hakapain: OY, 2003.
8Pietinen, P. Estimating sodium intake from food composition data. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism 1982; 26: 9099.
9 Reinivuo H, Valsta LM, Laatikainen T, Tuomilehto J, Pietinen P. Sodium in the Finnish diet: II Trends in dietary sodium intake and comparison between intake and 24-h excretion of sodium. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2006; 60: 11601167.
10Goldberg, GR, Black, AE, Jebb, SA, Murgatroyd, PR, Coward, WA, Prentice, AM. Critical evaluation of energy intake using fundamental principles of energy physiology: 1. Derivation of cut-off limits to identify under-recording. Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1991; 45: 569581.
11 Food Standards Agency of Great Britain. Salt. Eat no more than 6 g a day [online]. Available at http://www.salt.gov.uk/nomorethan6.shtml. Accessed 20 August 2006.
12 Food Standards Agency of Great Britain. Salt targets [online]. Available at http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/salttargetsapril106.pdf. Accessed 20 August 2006.
13 Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Salt and health: Review of the Scientific Evidence and Recommendations for Public Policy in Ireland [online]. Available at http://www.fsai.ie/industry/salt. Accessed 5 January 2007.
14Karvonen, MJ, Punsar, S. Sodium excretion and blood pressure of west and east Finns. Acta Medica Scandinavica 1977; 202: 501507.
15Law, MR, Frost, CD, Wald, NJ. By how much does dietary salt reduction lower blood pressure? I – Analysis of observational data among populations. British Medical Journal 1991; 302: 811815.
16Law, MR, Frost, CD, Wald, NJ. By how much does dietary salt reduction lower blood pressure? II – Analysis of observational data within populations. British Medical Journal 1991; 302: 815818.
17Law, MR, Frost, CD, Wald, NJ. By how much does dietary salt reduction lower blood pressure? III – Analysis of data from trials within populations. British Medical Journal 1991; 302: 819824.
18 Cutler JA, Follmann D, Allender PS. Randomized trials of sodium reduction: an overview. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007; 65(Suppl.): 643S–51S.
19He, FJ, MacGregor, GA. Effect of modest salt reduction on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized trials. Implications for public health. Journal of Human Hypertension 2002; 16: 761770.
20 He FJ, MacGregor GA. Effect of longer-term modest salt reduction on blood pressure. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2004; (3): CD004937.
21Tuomilehto, J, Jousilahti, P, Rastenyte, D, Moltchanov, V, Tanskanen, A, Pietinen, P, et al. Urinary sodium excretion and cardiovascular mortality in Finland: a prospective study. Lancet 2001; 357: 848851.
22Cook, NR, Cutler, JA, Obarzanek, E, Buring, JE, Rexrode, KM, Kumanyika, SK, et al. Long term effects of sodium reduction on cardiovascular disease outcomes. Observational follow-up of the trials of hypertension prevention (TOHP). British Medical Journal 2007; 334: 585588.

Keywords

Labelling the salt content in foods: a useful tool in reducing sodium intake in Finland

  • Pirjo Pietinen (a1), Liisa M Valsta (a1), Tero Hirvonen (a1) and Harri Sinkko (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed