Background/Aims: The impact on population salt intakes of initial Australian efforts to reduce the amount of salt in the food supply have not been evaluated. We sought to compare salt intake and discretionary salt use in Victoria between 2011 and 2014.
Methods: Adults aged 18 – 75 years provided 24-hour urine collections and reported discretionary salt use in 2011 and 2014. Analysis was adjusted for age, gender, metropolitan area, weekend collection and participation in both surveys.
Results: Estimates of salt intake based upon 24-hour collections in 598 participants in 2011 (53% female, age 57.1(12.0)(SD)years) and 442 participants in 2014,(53% female, 61.2(10.7) years) indicated no change: 7.9(7.6, 8.2)(95% CI) versus 7.8 (7.5, 8.1) g/d (P=0.589). There was no difference in salt use over the same period with 35% versus 36% adding salt sometimes or often/always at the table (P=0.76), and 44% versus 47% adding salt sometimes or often/always during cooking (P=0.29). 24-hour urinary salt excretion was 0.7 (0.7, 0.8) g/d (P=0.002) higher in those sometimes or often/always adding salt at the table and when cooking compared to those infrequently using salt.
Conclusions: There is no indication over this 3-year period that national salt reduction initiatives have resulted in a reduction in salt intake in Victoria. More concerted efforts to reduce the salt content of manufactured foods, together with a consumer education campaign targeting the use of discretionary salt are required.
Funding Source: NHMRC, Australian Division World Action on Salt and Health, NSW Health, NSW Food Authority, Australian Food and Grocery Council.