High salt intake is now endemic worldwide. It contributes to the generation and maintenance of high blood pressure, which is now the biggest risk factor for global disease. There is now compelling evidence to support salt reduction in hypertensives and a substantial body of evidence to support salt reduction in the general population to reduce risk of death from cardiovascular disease. In specific diseases such as heart failure and chronic kidney disease, guidelines support the World Health Organization target for reduced salt intake at 5 g daily. Achieving a diet that is lower in salt has challenges, but is more likely to be achieved through salt reduction strategies particularly focused on processed food and through educational programs. To be effective, these interventions require collaboration between industry, health agencies and governments.