Whether it’s to help with the good functioning of your body or used as a carrier for essential nutrients, salt is essential to a healthy life.
However, due to a lack of regulatory framework and harmonisation, European public health policies have failed to address issues linked to malnutrition, particularly lack of micronutrients and the ensuing health impacts.
Salt as a carrier for nutrients isn’t a random choice.
Salt has been globally recognised as a cost-effective vehicle for nutrients, due to its widespread consumption and due to the low cost of fortification. Indeed, salt as a carrier guarantees folic acid and/or iodine and/or fluoride intakes for a whole population, without discriminating certain social classes and independent of any dietary preference. Salt can also be used in specific processed foods resulting to an easy control of nutrient intakes, avoiding risks of over-exposure. Therefore, EUsalt supports the recommendations from the WHO 2008 Report for salt fortification and promotes the use of salt as carrier of essential nutrients.
Whether it’s to help with the good functioning of your body or used as a carrier for essential nutrients, salt is essential to a healthy life. However, due to a lack of regulatory framework and harmonisation, European public health policies have failed to address issues linked to malnutrition, particularly lack of micronutrients and the ensuing health impacts.
EUsalt is partnering with the World Iodine Association, to raise the attention on Iodine deficiency prevalence in Europe.
Low iodine intake and micronutrient malnutrition are prominent in Europe. The higher intake of certain nutrients is at high political attention in many national public health policies. However low iodine intake, leading to iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), is still not getting the same attention. Several strategies against Iodine deficiency have been launched by WHO and UNICEF, like the strategy of universal salt iodization (USI).
In Europe, other strategies are maybe required to raise the profile of the importance of Iodine deficiency, as well as the legislative instruments required to alter the prevalence of Iodine deficiency. Member States’ national health policies prevail, making Europe a scattered, uncertain market for food producers applying iodine fortification. EUsalt is a stakeholder contributing in the fight against iodine deficiency by defining regulatory strategies and helping to communicate in raising the awareness on iodine deficiency.
EUthyroid held a meeting on 28th April in Brussels with a view to promote iodine deficiency prevention programmes in Europe. One of the main ways to implement prevention strategies is to fortify foods (e.g. salt) with iodine.
While the EU-funded project aims to map the levels of iodine intake and deficiency across the continent, it is also set to create momentum for more harmonised public health policies.
Yet, the EU representative deemed such harmonisation of food fortification strategies unlikely, given diverse national situations. However, the EU welcomes initiatives for harmonised monitoring or iodine intake and deficiency.
Concerning health policies, EUthyroid decided to focus efforts in contacting national governments, namely Austria, Finland, Belgium, and Portugal, as well as Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
The EUthyroid project will end in 2018 with a conference dedicated to preventing Iodine Deficiency Disorders.
For more information: http://euthyroid.eu/news/
A recent series of research - from 2010 up to October 2013 - increasingly cast doubt on the way sodium reduction policies are carried out, as well as the WHO recommendation for the daily consumption of sodium, i.e. 2 000 g of sodium / 5 g of salt per day. Indeed, the body of literature questioning the appropriateness of public policies aiming at drastic sodium reduction in the population has swollen further.
Recent research pointed to the following conclusions: