Reducing sodium levels to those recommended by the SWG will reduce the number of strokes and heart attacks in Canada and save countless lives. A high consumption of sodium increases blood pressure, which is a major cause of, and a risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
“The three pronged strategy and subsequent recommendations presented today puts us on the right path for reducing heart disease and stroke,” says Sally Brown, CEO, the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “We urge the Minister of Health to respond to the report by the end of the year so that the implementation process may begin.”
As a key member of the national SWG, comprised of scientists, health experts, and the food industry, the Foundation was involved in the development of the SWG Report. The Foundation has long advocated for nutrition policies and programs that support the SWG recommendations, including having signed onto the Blood Pressure Canada Policy Statement in 2007, which supported a reduction in daily sodium intake by 2020.
Canadians are consuming too much sodium. In Canada, the sodium intake of the majority of Canadians exceeds the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of 2,300 mg and is closer to 3,400 mg per day.
The Foundation continues to work with government and industry to create and support healthy eating choices and health promoting environments for Canadians. It does this in many ways, including through Health Check, the Foundation’s food information program, public awareness and the funding of research to improve healthy eating.
“We’re looking forward to the results of the monitoring and evaluation phases and feel strongly, as has been recommended by the SWG, that alternate measures be considered if sufficient progress has not been achieved,” Sally Brown.