Across the country, 7.5 million Canadians are living with high blood pressure. Diets high in sodium are responsible for about 2 million of these cases.
Most Canadians consume far more salt than is healthy. Three quarters of our daily salt intake comes from prepared and manufactured foods.
In 2010, Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health agreed to the interim goal of reducing salt consumption from an estimated average of 3400 mg per day to 2300 mg per day by 2016. In November 2011, the Federal Government rejected a Federal/Provincial and Territorial plan to reduce dietary sodium, blurring their former commitment.
Excess sodium intake is a major contributor to high blood pressure and high blood pressure is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease (stroke and heart attack) and further associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer, osteoporosis, asthma and several other health conditions.
We need the Federal Government to commit to, and act on, a national sodium reduction strategy to make it easier for Canadians to choose low sodium foods. This needs to start with the Federal government setting salt reduction targets for the food industry, committing the food industry to meet these targets and closely monitoring industry’s progress in meeting these targets.
As a Canadian, you have a strong and powerful voice. Follow this link to sign our petition and/or e-mail Prime Minister Harper urging stronger federal government leadership and commitment to a national sodium reduction strategy for Canada.
The industry “norms” for sodium additives in processed food are NOT normal. Tell your government to take action and to pressure industry to find other ways to preserve and flavour foods.
Lowering sodium in the Canadian diet can save lives.