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WHO urges countries to ban foods high in salt – POLITICO

Cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and heart attacks, account for 42.5 percent of all annual deaths in the WHO European Region, or about 10,000 deaths per day. More than half of deaths are attributable to hypertension.

In the same report, the UN body also called for mandatory front-of-package labels to help consumers make informed and healthier food choices, and urged countries to conduct public awareness campaigns to support behavioral change to reduce salt consumption among the population.

Under current EU rules, displaying nutritional information on the front of food packaging is voluntary. The European Commission attempted to introduce mandatory EU-wide front-of-pack labeling in 2022, but the proposal sparked a fierce lobbying battle as countries pushed for competing systems. This proposal ended up disappearing from the radar and many consider it dead.

“Implementing targeted policies to reduce salt consumption by 25% could save around 900,000 lives caused by cardiovascular diseases by 2030,” said Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe , in a press release.

The report, released during Salt Awareness Week, calls for an integrated approach to reduce salt consumption and better diagnose, treat and control hypertension.


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