Current Hypertension Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 687–693 | Cite as

An Update on the Salt Wars—Genuine Controversy, Poor Science, or Vested Interest?

Prevention of Hypertension: Public Health Challenges (P Muntner, Section Editor)


There is unequivocal evidence that increased sodium intake is associated with increased blood pressure, and that increased blood pressure leads to increased risk of vascular diseases. Unfortunately, the published evidence directly linking sodium intake to vascular risk is inconsistent and confusing. This review, emphasising recent developments in national and international settings, considers why this is the case and how vested interests – particularly the food industry – have exploited the vacuum. We argue that legislation is the only tool that is likely to reverse the current situation wherein many millions of lives are put at risk through an unnecessary dietary additive, the reduction of which would be eminently feasible and have no conceivable disadvantage to health.


Salt Blood pressure Vascular disease Cohort study Trial Meta-analysis Policy Food industry Regulation Behaviour Hypertension 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Bruce Neal, Mary-Anne Land, and Mark Woodward declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The George Institute for Global HealthThe University of SydneyNSWAustralia

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