Fast Food Salt Levels Vary Among Six Countries

Reducing salt content in fast foods would benefit the overall health of a nation's population

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- High salt content in pizza, fried chicken, and other products served by multinational food chains varies substantially across six countries, and even incremental reductions of the seasoning could have a big impact on improving the health of the population, according to a study published online April 16 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Elizabeth Dunford, M.P.H., of the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, and associates collected and compared data on salt content of fast food from the Web sites of six companies operating in Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The researchers found that mean salt content in food categories varied substantially among companies and between the same products served in different countries. Data showed that chicken products in the United Kingdom contained 1.1 g of salt per 100 g, compared to 1.8 g per 100 g in the United States.

"In the right regulatory environment, it is likely that fast food companies could substantially reduce the salt in their products, translating to large gains for population health," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

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