Hidden salt

Australians are consuming up to 10 times the amount of sodium we need for good health.
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02.Health risks

It’s estimated we currently munch through twice the daily suggested dietary target for salt (1600mg), despite the significant health risks. High blood pressure (anything approaching around 140 over 90) and cardiovascular disease are two risk factors associated with a high-salt diet. In fact, even with fairly low blood pressure, the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure will increase with a raise in blood pressure. 

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is Australia’s biggest killer and the second-largest contributor to our burden of disease after cancer. CVDs have a highly preventable and treatable group of diseases risk factors – one being high blood pressure. Experts in Britain say a 10% reduction in their overall salt consumption has already saved over 6,000 lives a year.


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Salt and children's intake

2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey found that sodium intake in 2 to 16 year olds exceeds their upper daily limits, It also found sodium intake in 2-3 year olds was 167% of their daily maximum. Average sodium intake by 9-16 year olds even exceeded the upper daily limit set for adults.

Recommended daily sodium intakes

To prevent chronic disease, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has set 1600mg as the daily suggested Dietary Target (SDT) for sodium. Recommended adequate intakes and upper limits are listed below for specific ages.


Source: The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Nutrient Reference Values. AI Adequate Intake; UL Recommended Upper Daily Limit; all values as per the NHMRC. * Source from breast milk, formula and food only.

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