UK fast food has half the salt of other countries, finds international study

A new 2015 international survey by the World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) has revealed the saltiest children’s fast food meals around the world, highlighting not only the excessive amounts of salt in these meals, but also the huge variation in the same meals across different countries.

One example is that two Australian KFC meals have been found to contain double the salt of the same product in the UK. The survey looked at 387 meals from fast food chains like McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King from 37 countries.

“The new research from the World Action on Salt and Health is a big wake-up call and should make parents think twice about some fast food,” said Dr Jacqui Webster from The George Institute.

“It shows that the vast majority of children’s meals sold by fast food companies contain more than the recommended maximum amount of salt for a young child’s meal.

“The different salt levels for the same meal in different countries is also a cause for concern. For example, KFC’s Popcorn Nuggets and Fries in Australia contain 1.86 grams of salt per serve, which is much more than a child should eat in one meal, and more than twice the amount of salt in the same meal in the UK.”  

“On a more positive note it is good to see that the children’s turkey sub sold by Subway contains the same level of salt as the lowest in the world, although almost a gram of salt is still too high.”

“The George Institute has been highlighting the negative health aspects of eating too much salt for about a decade now, including the urgent need to protect our children from eating too much salt.

“Government and the food industry need to increase their efforts to ensure that salt levels in all foods including those marketed and sold to children, are reduced in line with international best practice.”

Read the Daily Mail article on this study.