How much salt do we eat?

In the UK, the average daily salt intake for adults is over 8g per day. This is much higher than the recommended maximum intake of 6g per day.

Approximate amount of salt consumed in grams (g) per day by adults in England, Scotland and Wales (figures from 2007-12)

  Grams of salt consumed per day by adults aged 19-64
  All adults Men Women
England 8.1 9.3 6.8
Wales 8.1 9.4 6.8
Scotland 8.2 9.4 7.0

Sources of salt in the UK diet

Source Approximate percentage (%) contribution
Processed foods 75
Natural sources 15
Added during cooking or at the table 10


Salt intake statistics come from the National Centre for Social Research: for the UK from the UK Sodium Survey 2008, for England from the England Sodium Survey 2011, for Wales from the Wales Sodium Survey 2007, and for Scotland from National Diet and Nutrition Survey Results from Years 1-4 (combined) of the Rolling Programme: Scotland.

Find out more about preventability estimates or, for more detailed information, download Appendix A of our Policy Report.

Figures on cancer incidence come from the following sources: for England; for Wales; for Scotland; and for Northern Ireland.