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Friday 21st October 2016

Food salt content confusion

28th January 2008

Research has shown that parents are not clear on how much salt foods contain and how dangerous it is to consume too much salt.

salt and sugar

Tthe Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) interviewed 2,000 people. Few of those interviewed understood that common sweet foods can have a higher salt content than savoury foods.

Less than a fifth knew that high salt intake is associated with osteoporosis, stomach cancer and asthma.

The recommended levels of salt intake per day is 6g for adults and children aged 11-14, 5g for those aged 7-10, 3g for 4-6 year olds, 2g for 1-3 year olds, 1g for babies aged from 7-12 months and less than 1g for infants from 0-6 months of age.

The CASH poll revealed that many foods consumed by children had over 1g of salt. This represented a third of the daily intake advised for 4-6 year olds.

The data also showed that sweet foods such as blueberry muffins can contain more salt than two bags of crisps.

Less than 50% of those polled knew that 1g of sodium was "the equivalent of 2.5g of salt."

Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of CASH and an expert in cardiovascular medicine at London's St George's Hospital, said: "What we need is clear food labelling."

"Some food companies have reduced their salt content in recent years and this needs to continue, but having good information is key."

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