Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health

Population sodium reduction strategies


WHO forum and technical meeting "Reducing salt intake in populations"

The World Health Organization (WHO) organized a forum and a technical meeting on Reducing Salt Intake in Populations, from 5 to 7 October 2006 in Paris, France.

The Forum reviewed the current evidence base on a wide range of topics, including initiatives, policies and programmes aimed at reducing salt intake in the population, methods for measuring salt intake, main contributors to salt consumption and the impact of lowering salt intake on health care spending. Stakeholders involved in the development and implementation of salt reduction policies presented their activities and participated in the forum discussions.

During the technical meeting, which followed the forum, working groups discussed the rationale for recommendations on reducing salt intake, guiding principles for policy development and specific issues to consider at national level when planning an intervention on salt reduction. The WHO temporary advisers who participated in the technical meeting drafted a series of recommendations to different stakeholders on how to facilitate the reduction of salt intake at the population level with the long term objective of preventing chronic diseases.

Meeting report

[Note: The conclusions and recommendations outlined in this report, reflect the work of the meeting participants and have not been endorsed by WHO.]

Background papers

  • The effectiveness and costs of population interventions to reduce salt consumption
    The document presents a review and discussion of the cost-effectiveness of interventions to reduce population-wide dietary sodium consumption. The review was undertaken by Dr Bruce Neal from The George Institute for International Health (Sydney, Australia). The conclusions and recommendations outlined in this background paper, reflect the work of the its authors and have not been endorsed by WHO.

  • Sodium intakes around the world
    The document presents an overview of sodium consumption around the world. The review was coordinated by Prof P. Elliot Head of Department of Epidemiology and Public Health in the Division of Epidemiology, Public Health and Primary Care of the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London. The conclusions and recommendations outlined in this background paper, reflect the work of the its authors and have not been endorsed by WHO.

WHO Expert Consultation on "Salt as a vehicle for fortification"

As a follow-up to the forum and a technical meeting on "Reducing Salt Intake in Populations", held in Paris (France) in October 2006, WHO organized an expert consultation on "Salt as vehicle for fortification", which was held in Luxembourg in March 2007. A report of this expert consultation was produced and can be downloaded through the following link:

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