Call for salt action on Chinese takeaway dishes

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Salt warnings should be compulsory for Chinese takeaways and ready meals, health campaigners have said.

Action on Salt said there is urgent need to reduce salt content in popular takeaways and ready meals.

The comments come after it found that some takeaway dishes have half an adults recommended daily allowance in just one dish.

The campaign group performed analysis on dishes from six Chinese restaurants which found that 97% contained 2g of salt or more per dish.

And 58% contained more than 3g of salt per dish – which is half an adult’s maximum recommended daily intake.

It said that adding side dishes would mean that people exceed the 6g per day recommended limit of salt in one meal alone.

Action on Salt also examined the salt content of Chinese ready meals from popular supermarkets and found that some dishes had more than 4g of salt per pack.

Of the 141 ready meals analysed, 43% were deemed to be high in salt and would receive a red label on front of pack.

Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London and Chairman of Action on Salt, added: “Salt is the forgotten killer as it puts up our blood pressure, leading to tens of thousands of unnecessary strokes, heart failure and heart attacks every year.

“Reducing salt is the most cost effective measure to reduce the number of people dying or suffering from strokes or heart disease. We are now calling on Public Health England to take immediate action.”

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “Our salt consumption has decreased over the last decade – a loaf of bread has 40% less than it used to. However, some products are still too high in salt and we know this can be reduced further.

“We’ve been very clear with the food industry on the importance of meeting the 2017 salt targets. We’ll report on their progress this year and on any necessary advice to Government on the next steps.”

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