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Table 4 Recommendations for lifestyle interventions in recent major guidelines for hypertension

From: Methods underpinning national clinical guidelines for hypertension: describing the evidence shortfall

Guideline Weight reduction Diet Salt restriction Alcohol restriction Smoking cessation Exercise
  Recommended weight Reduce saturated fat Increase fruit & vegetables Other recommendations Recommended max. daily intake Recommended max. daily intake (ethanol)   
CMA Y
(BMI 20–25 kg/m2)
No specific recommendation Y
(3–7 g/day)
≤17.4 g/day (women)
≤27.0 g/day (men)
Y 50–60 mins. aerobic exercise 3–4 times per week
WHO Y if overweight Y Y Increase fish consumption Y
(≤ 6 g/day)
≤10–20 g/day (women)
≤ 20–30 g/day (men)
Y 30–45 mins. aerobic exercise 3–4 times /week
VHA Y
(if > 10% of ideal body weight)
Y Y Increase cereal consumption Y
(≤ 6 g/day)
≤14 g/day (women)
≤ 28 g/day (men)
Y 30–45 mins. aerobic exercise 3–5 times/week
SIGN Y
(BMI < 25 kg/m2)
Y Y   Y
(<5 g/day)
≤15.8 g/day (women)
≤ 23.7 g/day (men)
Y 30–45 mins. aerobic exercise most days
ESH Y Y Y Increase fish consumption Y
(4.7–5.8 g/day)
≤10–20 g/day (women)
≤ 20–30 g/day (men)
Y 30–45 mins. aerobic exercise 3–5 times/week
ICSI Y if overweight Y Y Increase low fat dairy food consumption Y
(<6 g/day)
≤14 g/day (women)
≤ 28 g/day (men)
Y 30–45 mins. aerobic exercise 3–4 times/week
JNC Y
(BMI 18.5–25 kg/m2)
Y Y Increase low fat dairy food consumption Y
(≤ 6 g/day)
≤14 g/day (women)
≤ 28 g/day (men)
Not discussed ≥30 mins. aerobic exercise most days
SA Y
(BMI < 25 kg/m2)
Y Y Increase fibre, unrefined carbohydrates Y ≤24 g/day Y 30 mins. aerobic exercise 3–5 times per week
BHS Y
(BMI 20–25 kg/m2)
Y Y Reduce total fat Y
(< 6 g/day)
≤15.8 g/day
≤ 23.7 g/day (men)
Y > 30 mins. aerobic exercise most days
NICE Y Healthy, low calorie diet Y
(<6 g/day)
< 14 units/wk (women)
< 21 units/week (men)
Y 30–60 mins. 3–5 times/week