It’s not just adults who should be concerned about their salt intake. There is evidence that eating too much salt as a child can also affect blood pressure, increasing the risk of illness later in life. Habits learned early in childhood tend to carry through to our adult years, including dietary habits. Adding salt or salty sauces to food at the dining table is typically something children learn from their family members. In addition, we are not born with an innate liking of salty foods, instead it becomes something we acquire over time after repeated exposure to salt in our diet. Government recommendations that adults reduce their salt intake would be MUCH more successful if children did not learn to develop a taste for salt in the first place.
Public Health England estimate that one in five children eat outside the home (OOH) at least once a week. Meals eaten outside of the home tend to be higher in salt, sugar and fat than food cooked at home, and portion sizes tend to be bigger. Therefore, to mark our 20th Salt Awareness Week (4th – 10th March 2019), Action on Salt have conducted a survey of popular family-friendly restaurants, pubs and fast food chains to assess salt levels in children’s meals. We compared this analysis to our previous survey, conducted in 2015.
Click here to view the survey report: Action on Salt/WASH Survey Report 2019 [PDF 1,571KB]