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Cuts salt + fat levels in food could save 40,000 lives

Posted Jun 24 2010 1:31am
Cutting salt and fat levels in food could save thousands of lives, says NICE
NICE ( NHS - National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) criticized European MP's for voting against the FSA (Food Standards Agency) Traffic Light labelling scheme.

Paul Lincoln, Chief Executive of the National Heart Forum and a member of the guidance group said: “There is substantial evidence to support the use of the traffic light system. It was the best reported scheme in terms of the peer-reviewed scientific evidence, and its use would not demonise foods but help people to choose healthy options. We know that this scheme will not widen health inequalities.
“However, the EU has voted to go for the guideline dietary amount scheme instead of the traffic lights. It’s regrettably that it does not include the colour coding."

London Nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston agrees "The people of Europe have been badly let down by MEPs on this labelling issue, it was a good opportunity to educate people how to avoid joining the list of thousands of people who die from preventable chronic disease. MEPs have done nothing less than sell out to the demands of irresponsible food manufacturers who fear an educated public waking up to manufacturers cheap cheats to sell nutrient depleted processed food."

In their latest report and Press release NICE claim "Up to 40,000 deaths from heart disease and stroke could be prevented each year by reducing the levels of salt and saturated fat in our food."

Cardiovascular disease is one of the biggest killers in the UK, with nearly three million women and three million men currently living with the disease. Every year, there are 300,000 new cases of cardiovascular disease, with those living in deprived areas three times more likely to develop the disease.
But despite the prevalence of the disease, around 90 per cent of deaths are largely preventable and can be tackled by making changes to diet, giving up smoking and increasing levels of physical activity."

This latest public health guidance from NICE focuses on food production and calls for a reduction in salt intake, aiming for a maximum intake of 6g per day per adult by 2015 and 3g daily by 2025. This action alone would result in 15,000 - 20,000 fewer deaths from heart disease and stroke every year.
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