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Salt consumption in the Netherlands

More than 85% of the Dutch population exceed the recommended maximum salt consumption of 6 grams a day. Adult men eat nearly 10 grams of salt a day on average, and women 7.5 grams. This high salt consumption begins early on in life: boys consume 8.3 grams of salt a day on average, and girls 6.8. These figures appeared in an RIVM study of salt consumption in the Netherlands published in February 2012.

Most of the salt in people’s diet comes from bread, meat products and cheese. In addition, a fifth of the total amount of salt consumed is added at table and during cooking. Excessive salt consumption can raise the blood pressure, thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. People with a high salt consumption often eat more than people with a low salt consumption, but in addition they often choose food with a higher salt content.
The 15% of the Dutch population who eat less than 6 grams of salt a day show that it is possible to keep within the recommended limits. Consumers can take steps themselves to reduce their salt consumption by changing their diet. Another way of reducing salt consumption is for food manufacturers to lower the salt content  in their products.