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Public Health Nutr. 2014 Aug;17(8):1894-904. doi: 10.1017/S136898001300195X. Epub 2013 Aug 8.

Current salt reduction policies across gradients of inequality-adjusted human development in the WHO European region: minding the gaps.

Author information

1
1Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health,Charité-Universitätsmedizin,Charitéplatz 1,10117 Berlin,Germany.
2
2Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition,University of Porto,Oporto,Portugal.
3
3School of Public Health and Community Medicine,University of New South Wales,Sydney,Australia.
4
4Department of Community and Global Health,Graduate School of Medicine,University of Tokyo,Tokyo,Japan.
5
5Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion,World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe,Copenhagen,Denmark.
6
6Division of Mental Health & Wellbeing,Warwick Medical School,WHO Collaborating Centre for Nutrition,University of Warwick,Warwick,UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess current salt reduction policies in countries of the WHO European Region against the backdrop of varying levels of human development adjusted for income, education and health (longevity) inequalities.

DESIGN:

Population-based, cross-sectional study, with data gathered through systematic review of relevant databases and supplementary information provided by WHO Nutrition Counterparts.

SETTING:

Member States of the WHO European Region.

SUBJECTS:

Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index scores were analysed against assessed levels of development and implementation of national nutrition policies and initiatives targeting population-level salt reduction.

RESULTS:

Within the WHO European Region, Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index values among countries with no existing salt reduction initiatives (mean 0·643 (se 0·022)) were significantly lower than among those with either partially implemented/planned salt initiatives (mean 0·766 (se 0·017), P < 0·001) or fully implemented salt initiatives (mean 0·780 (se 0·021), P < 0·001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Where salt reduction strategies are implemented as an integral part of national policy, outcomes have been promising. However, low- and middle-income countries may face severe resource constraints that keep them from emulating more comprehensive strategies pursued in high-income countries. Care must be taken to ensure that gaps are not inadvertently widened by monitoring differential policy impacts of salt policies, particularly regarding trade flows.

PMID:
23924617
DOI:
10.1017/S136898001300195X
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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