The excess sodium consumption each year indirectly influences heart diseases, which in turn lead to premature deaths. Too much salt rises blood pressure, which consequently increases the chances of strokes and heart attacks.
Unfortunately, merely cutting down on salt will not solve the problem, for salt is present in many of the products we consume habitually every day. Processed foods, the food we eat at restaurants and buy at the supermarket, have high levels of sodium content, and we are consuming more salt than we actually realize.
The only way to fight against the high level of sodium consumption is to penalize those products that do not respect the recommended dosages, and can therefore be damaging to our health. There should be regulations imposing a cut in the amount of salt added in products, especially products destined for family consumption and sold in supermarkets such as Walgreens, Wal-Mart and other food chain restaurants that prepare ready to eat meals.
Were these establishments obliged to cut the salt they add in products of only 7 percent, by the end of a seven year period people would be taking in 50 percent less salt than they are presently consuming.
An anti salt campaign could include many different strategic plans, such as promoting alternative varieties of salt-free food, providing information to customers as to the damage salt can cause if taken in excess or even increasing the price of salty products as opposed to those with a lower level of salt content.
If these establishments got together to implement a low salt strategy, they would no doubt succeed; especially if penalties were give out to those who do not respect the plan. This plan would be similar to that implemented by the car industry, which are obligated to reduce the production of carbon released into the atmosphere, but they may choose their own strategic plans in order to do so.
This is what performance-based regulation is about, the establishments or retailers providing the products are only taxed if they do not come to terms with the salt limits imposed. In addition with this strategy, retailers will be satisfying their clients preferences and at the same time providing healthy food for customers to benefit from, this can only bring a positive feedback to the establishments concerned.
These objectives could be met if the various establishments and supermarkets competed in finding the most effective way to reduce salt in their products without losing customers, who still prefer a certain product to another. This could be achieved with a specific bar code data and would not be to demanding to implement, this would help promote a health campaign and show that the establishments are showing a real interest in their customers.
With a reduction of 50 percent in the global salt consumption, the American Medical Association cannot yet determine how much the blood pressure of the average person could be reduce, but the overall health conditions would improve.