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Legal salt limits could prevent private medical cover claims for heart disease treatment

Published on 02/11/2010
A legal limit to salt levels in food could mean fewer people will need their private medical cover provider to issue treatment for heart disease, a new study has suggested.

Published in the journal Heart, Australian researchers have found that imposing statutory limits on salt could be up to almost 20 times more effective at reducing heart disease than voluntary measures taken by industry.

They compared different strategies for reducing public consumption of salt - which is a known factor in causing heart disease.

This included an Australian marketing programme in which manufacturers can buy an endorsed logo for use on product packaging in return for reducing salt content.

They also looked at mandatory salt reductions and compared the effectiveness of each approach.

It was found that ill health from cardiovascular disease would be cut by almost one per cent under voluntary industry restrictions compared to no action at all.

However, a government imposed mandatory limit would amount to an 18 per cent decrease in heart disease.

"Food manufacturers have a responsibility to make money for their shareholders, but they also have a responsibility to society. If corporate responsibility fails, maybe there is an ethical justification for government to step in and legislate," they conclude.

The recommended daily intake of salt for an adult is six grams per day.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Health
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