Limited potential impact of Australia’s reformulation targets on sodium purchases

Research by Coyle et al (2020) from the George Institute for Global Health has sparked media attention as it found very limited potential impact on reducing sodium intake of the Australian population from the voluntary sodium reformulation programme, the Healthy Food Partnership, with just 50mg daily reduction per person if there was 100% compliance with the targets. Furthermore, the study found that if Australia applied the UK targets, the impact would be more than double. Leavened bread, bacon, sausages, and cheddar-style cheeses were identified as key targets for reduced sodium reformulation as they contribute high levels of sodium to the daily diet of an average Australian. Leading author Daisy Coyle suggested the Australian government should consider adopting the UK sodium targets, with gradual sodium reduction targets that are lowered every few years to increase the impact of the sodium reformulation program to improve the health of the Australian population.

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