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Excess sodium consumption has been traditionally associated with a typical high-fat American diet, but the problem may actually extend to the global population.
The World Health Organization has recommended that individuals reduce their salt intake by just one teaspoon per day, which may have significant benefits for the public's cardiovascular health. In fact, a study that was conducted at Warwick Medical School determined just how much of a difference the suggestion may make.
Researchers found that a 3-gram reduction in salt consumption in the U.K. may result in 8,000 and 12,000 fewer cases of stroke and coronary heart disease deaths, respectively. In the U.S., a decrease in sodium consumption could possibly prevent 12,000 cases of coronary artery disease, some 66,000 strokes and 99,000 heart attacks.
Moreover, the researchers said that the improvement in public health could save the country $24 billion per year in healthcare costs.
"Prevention implemented through food reformulation and effective voluntary, market intervention or mandatory action throughout the industry is what needs to happen with society, governments, academia and health organizations all needing to play a part," said lead author Francesco Cappuccio.