Chinese takeaway dishes 'should carry warnings about salt content'

Lloyd Doyle
March 13, 2018

When it comes to ready meals, the saltiest Chinese dish was Slimming World's Chinese Style Banquet Rice with 4.40g salt per 550g pack - that's more salt than two store-bought Pizza Express Margherita Pizzas.

Action on Salt is calling on governmental action to limit levels of salt in meals through setting new salt targets, making front of pack labelling mandatory and putting warning labels on menus for dishes high in salt.

United Kingdom health experts have recommended that menus and packaging should come with compulsory health warning labels to alert consumers to harmful salt levels.

The worst-offending Chinese takeaway dishes in a survey published on Tuesday by Action on Salt were found to contain as much salt as five McDonald's Big Macs, while many had more than half an adult's entire daily allowance.

Consuming too much salt has been associated with the development of degenerative health conditions, which include heart disease.

Nearly all dishes tested at six London restaurants by researchers at Queen Mary Hospital had 2g of salt, and three in five 3g or more.

Of the six dishes from six Chinese restaurants analyzed, 97 percent were found to contain at least 2 grams of salt.

"Chinese meals should carry a health warning on packaging and menus after a new survey based at the Wolfson Institute, Barts & The London, Queen Mary University of London has exposed the astonishing and harmful amounts of salt found in both Chinese takeaways and Chinese ready meals sold by some of the UK's biggest supermarkets".

More than half had more than 3g of salt per dish - which is half an adult's maximum recommended daily intake.

There were large variations in the salt content of the same dishes from different restaurants.

Sonia Pombo, campaign manager at Action on Salt, said: "Our data shows food can be easily reformulated with lower levels of salt, so why haven't all companies acted responsibly?"

Sonia Pombo, campaign manager at Action on Salt, said: "The lack of front-of-pack colour coded labelling on branded products makes it incredibly hard for consumers to make healthier choices and that is simply unacceptable. We are now calling on PHE to take immediate action".

"We've been very clear with the food industry on the importance of meeting the 2017 salt targets".

Health experts said that reducing the amount of salt intake is considered as the most cost-effective means to reduce the number of people who die or suffer from strokes and heart diseases.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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