Victorian Salt Action Partnership
The goal of this project is to achieve a 1 gram/day reduction in average salt intake of adults and children by June 2018. In parallel, the project aims to attain commitment and consensus from public, governments and industry to take action to reduce population salt intake in Victoria.
On average, Victorians and Australians more broadly eat almost twice the recommended upper limit of salt intake. High salt intake is a major cause of high blood pressure, which affects 1 in 4 Victorians. It was estimated that almost 1 in 20 deaths in Victoria were attributable to high salt intake in 2010.
In 2014, the WHO Collaborating Centre for Population Salt Reduction at The George Institute prepared a report titled ‘A Case for State action on salt in Australia – evidence and opportunities for action’ for the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth). Based on the report’s recommendations, VicHealth are leading a Salt Reduction Taskforce that will implement five key initiatives to reduce average population salt intake in Victoria. The initiatives include to; 1) build strong partnerships, 2) raise public awareness about the importance of reducing salt and change salt intake behaviours, 3) strengthen existing federal and state policies that create a supportive environment for lowering salt consumption, 4) develop innovative approaches to engage food industry to lower salt content in foods and 5) undertake research monitoring and evaluation to determine the impact of the initiatives.
The Salt Reduction Taskforce has been established consisting of VicHealth, The George Institute, Heart Foundation, Deakin University, Baker IDI, Kidney Health Australia and National Stroke Foundation. Formative research such as consultations with food industry and consumer awareness surveys have been undertaken to inform the development of initiatives. In parallel, the measurement of baseline salt intake in Victoria is underway.