MEASURE AND MONITOR SALT USE
Why it matters
Data from monitoring are necessary to ensure the success of salt reduction interventions. It is important to measure how much salt the population is consuming. This information can be used to show leaders of government and civil society why salt reduction is important and can help them to allocate resources where they will be most effective. It is also essential to identify the dietary sources of salt and to collect information on consumer behaviour so that effective interventions can be designed, implemented and evaluated.
What needs to be done
There are three key stages in monitoring a salt reduction programme:
- Measure and monitor population salt consumption patterns.
- Measure and monitor the sodium content of food.
- Monitor and evaluate the impact of the salt reduction programme.
Within the SHAKE package, WHO offers a variety of tools for monitoring and evaluating salt reduction interventions, including various methods for qualitative and quantitative assessment of a policy, as well as its costeffectiveness.
In order to maximize the quality of monitoring, a range of stakeholders need to be involved. Governments must play a leading role in monitoring and evaluating policies aimed at reducing salt intake at the population level, as well as in allocating funds to support these activities. Nongovernmental organizations, civil society, academia and health-care professionals have significant roles to play in monitoring the implementation of any new policies. The private sector should also be involved in monitoring and publicizing the salt content of foods and meals in national and global markets.