Date Published: 23 October 2006
*Six weeks to change your taste buds* challenge (Ireland)
safefood issued the findings of a major at-work salt reduction programme, "Six Weeks to Change Your Taste Buds".
The initiative was designed to increase awareness of the health risks posed by a diet too high in salt and ultimately lead to a lowering of salt in the diet. 64% of employees who participated in the programme said that they had reduced, or planned to reduce the level of salt in their diet, as a direct result of the campaign.
The programme, which involved over 40,000 employees from different sectors of business and the public service, resulted in a 57% increase in the number of people who believed their diet was too high in salt. Of those who reduced their salt intake at work, 62% claimed to have done so at home too. Almost 8 in 10 employees said they would like to see further campaigns in relation to their diet.
Speaking about the campaign Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, safefood said,
“ Salt levels in processed foods provide the biggest challenge for us as consumers, as often we are not aware of, nor do we tend to read, the level of salt on the label. Simple steps to help reduce salt intake include flavouring food with pepper, choosing fresh meat, fish and vegetables over processed foods where possible, and cutting back on salty meats such as bacon, gammon and ham. It is encouraging to see that when people are provided with the right information they take it on board”.
The safefood ‘Six weeks to change your taste buds’ challenge offered practical advice to help patrons of workplace restaurants to gradually reduce their salt intake down to a healthy limit over the six week period. The campaign was launched with the support of the Irish Heart Foundation and Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke Association.
As well as the ‘Six weeks to change your taste buds’ challenge, safefood has produced a leaflet, How much salt is good for you, which provides a clear outline on how to manage salt intake. The leaflet is available from the safefood helpline 1850 404 567 / 0800 085 1683 or at www.safefoodonline.com (Ireland).
Source: safefood (Ireland).