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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2012, Article ID 860954, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/860954
Review Article

Sodium Consumption: An Individual's Choice?

1Departments of Medicine, of Community Health Sciences, and of Physiology and Pharmacology, Libin Cardiovascular Institute, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4Z6
2Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4

Received 29 August 2011; Accepted 14 November 2011

Academic Editor: Simon L. Bacon

Copyright © 2012 Norm R. C. Campbell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Excess intake of dietary salt is estimated to be one of the leading risks to health worldwide. Major national and international health organizations, along with many governments around the world, have called for reductions in the consumption of dietary salt. This paper discusses behavioural and population interventions as mechanisms to reduce dietary salt. In developed countries, salt added during food processing is the dominant source of salt and largely outside of the direct control of individuals. Population-based interventions have the potential to improve health and to be cost saving for these countries. In developing economies, where salt added in cooking and at the table is the dominant source, interventions based on education and behaviour change have been estimated to be highly cost effective. Regardless, countries with either developed or developing economies can benefit from the integration of both population and behavioural change interventions.