Belgians are eating less salt but still too much

The average Belgian today eats 9.5 grams of salt each and every day. That's a 10% cut in comparison with 2007 when Belgians' salt consumption was measured for a first time. 9.5 grams is still well above the recommended dose of 6 grams VITO, the Flemish Technological Research Institute that conducted the research, has discovered.

Belgian Health Minister Maggie De Block speaks of a good result that has been achieved thanks to co-operation with the food sector. Following research in 2007 the federal authorities reached agreement with the food and retail industries aimed at reducing salt in various foods.

In 2013 it emerged that considerable cuts had been made in meat (down between 16% and 36%), bread (down 22%), powdered soup (down 17%), readymade meals (down between 15% and 29%) and cheeses (down between 7.5% and 20%). The decrease was made gradually in order not to upset consumers.

Urine tests that looked at sodium levels in the population as a whole showed that the operation had been a success.

Nicholas Courant of the food businesses federation FEVIA called for changes in the law: "There are legal restrictions that do not allow us to use alternatives because the law stipulates it must be salt. If the law is changed then we can go even further."