Community Salt Swap initiative launches in Lithgow

Lithgow, Australia is leading the way in achieving the new World Health Organization target of a 30% reduction in population salt intake by 2025 with the launch of Salt Swap.

Salt Swap is a community health campaign to reduce salt intake by “swapping” household table salt for Salt for Life (a new sea salt blend which offers 70% less sodium than table salt), and by reformulating locally produced processed foods.

Data collected through a population survey in Lithgow in 2011 identified average adult salt intake to be 9 grams a day, which is twice the Australian suggested dietary target of 4 grams a day. 

Drop the Salt Lithgow aims to reduce salt intake by 10%. Achieving this reduction would be a significant public health achievement, and has the potential to be scaled up to underpin national and international policy.

Lithgow City Council Mayor, Maree Statham said the Council is very pleased to be driving such an important project in the community and leading the way in community salt reduction initiatives.

“Watch out for the Salt Swap information stalls over coming weeks at Marjorie Jackson Plaza and at Lithgow Valley Plaza where you can receive a free sample of a tasty low salt alternative and find out more information on how to reduce your salt intake.”

The Salt Swap program 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.

Mary-Anne Land of The George Institute said that the launch of Salt Swap Lithgow places the community at the forefront of achieving the global goal of reducing the burden of raised blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.

“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," said Ms Land.

"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,” she said.

Jason Cummings, Director of Nu-Tek Salt Australasia and Salt for Life said Nu-Tek Australasia is very excited to be a part of Salt Swap Lithgow.

"We look forward to supporting this very important initiative to reduce sodium intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease," said Mr Cummings.

Salt Swap in an innovative 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, and Nu-Tek Salt Australasia.