South Africa's salt reduction strategy: Are we on track, and what lies ahead?

J Webster, C Crickmore, K Charlton, K Steyn, E Wentzel-Viljoen, P Naidoo


On 2 September 2016, 25 local and international participants from various sectors met in Cape Town to take stock of South Africa (SA)’s progress in salt reduction and develop a roadmap for action. SA is centre stage on salt reduction globally, being the first country to mandate salt reduction across a wide range of processed foods. Excessive salt intake contributed by processed foods and discretionary sources motivated SA to implement a public awareness campaign in parallel with legislation to reduce salt intake to the World Health Organization target of 5 g per day. Five priority areas were identified for continued action on salt reduction, including obtaining research funds for continued monitoring and compliance of salt reduction targets. Determining the contribution of foods eaten out of home to total salt intake and implementing strategies to address this sector were also highlighted as key actions. Lastly, implementing the next stage of the Salt Watch awareness campaign to change 

Authors' affiliations

J Webster, Food Policy Division, George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia

C Crickmore, Science and Programme Development Department, Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, Durban, South Africa

K Charlton, School of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia

K Steyn, Chronic Disease Initiative in Africa, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

E Wentzel-Viljoen, Centre of Excellence for Nutrition and Medical Research Council Research Unit for Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

P Naidoo, Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, Cape Town; Professor Extraordinaire, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

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Salt; Sodium; Food; Salt reduction strategy; Legislation, South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2017;107(1):20-21. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2017.v107i1.12120

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-12-21
Date published: 2016-12-21

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