LITHGOW is leading the way in achieving the new World Health Organisation target of a 30 per cent reduction in population salt intake by 2025.
Salt Swap Lithgow is an exciting health initiative supported by The George Institute for Global Health, NSW Health, The University of Notre Dame Rural Clinical School-Lithgow and Lithgow City Council which places the community at the forefront of achieving the global goal of reducing the burden of raised blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
Salt Swap is an innovative campaign to reduce salt intake by “swapping” household table salt for “Salt for Life” (a new sea salt blend which offers 70 per cent less sodium than table salt), reformulation of locally produced processed foods and using the FoodSwitch Smartphone application to help people make better food choices in the supermarket.
“Council is very pleased to be driving such an important project in our community and leading the way in community salt reduction initiatives,” Lithgow mayor Maree Statham said.
This week in the Marjorie Jackson Plaza (formerly Cook Street Plaza) and at the Lithgow Valley Plaza, Salt Swap information and free samples of sea salt were being given out.
The information contained ways of reducing your salt intake and in doing so helping people to live a healthier life.
The Salt Swap people will also be knocking on doors and visiting community events over coming weeks offering people the chance to swap their current salt shaker for the low salt alternative.
Raised blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, particularly stroke, which is the second leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in Australia.
The level of dietary salt consumed is an important determinant of blood pressure levels and a modest reduction in salt intake has been found to have a significant impact in decreasing blood pressure levels and risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Mary-Anne Land, from The George Institute who is Project Manager and lead researcher for Drop the Salt Lithgow.
Data collected through a population survey in Lithgow in 2011 identified average adult salt intake to be 9 grams a day, twice the Australian suggested dietary target of 4 grams a day.
Drop the Salt Lithgow aims to reduce intake by 10 per cent.
Achieving this reduction would be a significant public health achievement, and has the potential to be scaled up to underpin national and international policy.