The average salt intake has fallen from 9.5g in 2001 to 9g a day, according to research from the Food Standards Agency.

However, intake remains 50% higher than the government's recommended intake of 6g a day.

The average intake for men fell has fallen from 11g to 10.2g a day, with intake for women down from 8.1g to 7.6g.

“Today's results illustrate the progress that is being made in reducing the nation's daily salt intake,” said FSA chair Dame Deirdre Hutton.

“However, there is still some way to go before we reach the 6g target and we all now need to build on this to ensure that the downward trend continues.”

The FSA has today launched a new phase of its salt campaign, with a series of television ads featuring comedian, TV presenter and writer Jenny Eclair urging shoppers to check if the food products they buy are 'full of it'.

Meanwhile, a Food and Drink Federation survey has found its members had reformulated £7.4bn worth of products to lower levels of salt compared to a year ago.