Food Reformulation and the (Neo)-Liberal State: New Strategies for Strengthening Voluntary Salt Reduction Programs in the UK and USA
Public Health, Vol. 129, No. 8, pp. 1061-1073, 2015
14 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2015 Last revised: 18 Sep 2015
Date Written: April 23, 2015
Globally, excess salt intake is a significant cause of preventable heart disease and stroke, given the established links between high salt intake, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. This paper describes and evaluates the voluntary approaches to salt reduction that operate in the United Kingdom and the United States, and proposes a new strategy for improving their performance. Drawing on developments in the theory and practice of public health governance, as well as theoretical ideas from the field of regulatory studies, this paper proposes a responsive regulatory model for managing food reformulation initiatives, including salt reduction programs. This model provides a transparent framework for guiding industry behavior, making full use of industry's willingness to participate in efforts to create healthier products, but using ‘legislative scaffolding’ to escalate from self-regulation towards co-regulation if industry fails to play its part in achieving national goals and targets.
Keywords: Salt reduction, Food reformulation, UK, US, Regulation, Law, Non-communicable diseases
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation