Australians dying earlier than expected, and the food industry is to blame

Australians are regularly eating food saltier than seawater, says an expert in cardiovascular medicine on a mission to reduce salt and sugar in food.

Australians are being “bamboozled” by the food industry into premature death and the federal government is doing nothing about it, says a UK expert in cardiovascular medicine.

Professor Graham MacGregor from the Wolfston Institute of Preventive Medicine in the UK, is in Canberra on a mission to get more government action on reducing salt and sugar in foods.

He says Australia is lagging behind on food regulation and it’s time for our politicians to “pull their fingers out”.

“The food industry is stuffing foods with toxic products like salt, sugar and fat, they know they’re killing off the population, they now need to take it out and they can do it quite easily without loss of sales.

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“It’s doesn’t require a PhD to see why we’re all getting fat and high blood pressure,” Prof MacGregor told AAP. “In the UK we’ve reduced salt intake by roughly 20 per cent now and that has only cost a couple of million pounds in total and has saved billions of pounds to the health care system because of the number of people who would have suffered strokes and heart attacks haven’t because of the fall in blood pressure that has occurred.”

The average Australian consumes about nine grams of salt each day – with 80 per cent of the salt consumed coming from processed or bought food.

The recommended consumption of salt is less than six grams per day and less than four grams for those with an existing cardiovascular disease.

Too much salt causes high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney disease.

Do you think the food industry needs more regulation?