Salt is the main factor in causing high blood pressure, the consequence of which is strokes and heart attacks; these diseases are the biggest causes of death and disability in the UK. If everyone achieved the target of 6g salt per day, the 2.1g reduction from the current daily average level of 8.1g would mean that almost 17,000 lives would be saved each year. Salt is also linked to a number of other health conditions including stomach cancer, osteoporosis, kidney stones, kidney disease and obesity.
Salt intakes have fallen in the UK from 9.5g to 8.1g since 2001, a drop of 15%. This steady and continuous decline in salt intakes is extremely encouraging, as studies suggest that this reduction in average daily salt intake, through the reduction it has on blood pressure, will prevent approximately 20,000 strokes, heart attacks and heart failures, 8,500 of which are fatal in the UK every year. Nevertheless, many adults still eat up to twice the maximum amount of salt that is currently recommended (6g/day). This coherent programme is now being rolled out worldwide, and we are seeing similar actions in other countries.
The success of the salt reduction programme led CASSH to launch Action on Sugar in January 2014. Following the model of salt reduction, Action on Sugar is working to reach a consensus with the food industry and Government over the harmful effects of a high sugar diet, and bring about a reduction in the amount of sugars in processed foods. Action on Sugar has now officially been incorporated into the charity and charity’s aims.
Blood Pressure UK is the only charity solely dedicated to lowering the nation's blood pressure to prevent disability and death from stroke and heart disease. Our vision is that everyone will know their blood pressure numbers, in the same way that they know their height or weight, and take steps to keep them healthy both now and in the future. Since October 2000 we have been making a real difference to the 16 million people affected by high blood pressure in the UK. We work to ensure that high blood pressure is at the top of everyone's health agenda: within the Government, among health professionals, in the media and for every adult in the UK.
Our award-winning charity offers a range of booklets, magazine, e-newsletters, website, information line and other activities, to help people take control of, or prevent, high blood pressure. We also run the UK's biggest blood pressure testing event Know your Numbers! Week.