Did you ever read the salt content of fast foods? Scary! What is even scarier is the news that the same fast foods sold abroad have less salt in them.
According to a study that appeared in the April 16 issues of the Canadian Medical Association’s journal, CMAJ there are significant differences in the amount of salt in fast foods sold in fast-food restaurants in the U.S., Canada and other countries.
Study researchers examined the salt content of more than 2,100 food items in seven product categories sold by Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Subway in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Researchers found that McDonald’s fast food Chicken McNuggets in Canada contained 2.5 times more sodium than those in the United Kingdom. There were 600 milligrams of sodium (1.5 grams of salt) in a 3.5-ounce serving in Canada, but the same serving size in the United Kingdom contained 240 milligrams of sodium (0.6 grams of salt).
Norman Campbell, of the University of Calgary, and colleagues, said in a journal news release that”Canadian companies indicate they have been working to reduce sodium but the high sodium in these foods indicates voluntary efforts aren’t working.
These high levels indicate failure of the current government approach that leaves salt reduction solely in the hands of industry,” the researchers reported. “Salt-reduction programs need to guide industry and oversee it with targets and timelines for foods, monitoring and evaluation, and stronger regulatory measures if the structured voluntary efforts are not effective.”
The researchers concluded,”Decreasing salt in fast foods would appear to be technically feasible, and is likely to produce important gains in population health — the average salt levels of fast foods are high, and these foods are eaten often.”
SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association Journal, news release, April 11, 2012