Let the science prove it!
Finland Salt Action Summary March 2009 Finland started a successful salt reduction campaign in 1970, in North Karelia. This campaign is still continuing nationally, both in informing the public and working with the food industry. Finland is investigating further reduction options, such as providing ‘warning’ or ‘better choice’ labels on high salt foods; information campaigns; guidelines for food service providers and continued reformulation. It is estimated that industry has reformulated some product groups, such as bread, meat products, cheeses and ready meals to reduce their salt content by about 20-25%.
September 2008 Following research into salt consumption in Finland, the National Public Health Institute concluded that salt reduction would require long-lasting systematic work, including national legislation for lowering the salt content and compulsory nutrition labeling.
Following this advice, all heavily salted products will have to be labelled, including: cheese, meat and fish products, bread, soup, sauces and pre-prepared foods.
May 2008 Finland is trying to get salt intake further down by lowering the maximum limits for normally salted products. Please download the following PowerPoint presentation which explains the situation:
Salt intake in Finland [PPT 605 KB]
Finland, which has aggressively reduced salt in food over three decades, has seen a 40 per cent decline in average sodium intake. That has helped produce a large reduction in average blood pressure levels and an 80-per-cent drop in deaths due to stroke.
September 2007 The National Public Health Institute of Finland will soon have the latest salt consumption statistics available, based on 24-hour urine collections in representative population samples.
The Ministry of Health, together with the Public Health Institute, is attempting to get EU approval for continuation of the current Finnish salt labeling legislation, which has proved to be very effective in limiting excessive intake of salt.
January 2007 Labeling the salt content in foods: a useful tool in reducing sodium intake in Finland [PDF 828 KB]
2006 In Finland since the late 1970's various population-wide initiatives have been implemented to decrease the intake of salt in the whole population. These are listed below: