Relationship between mean daily energy intake and frequency of consumption of out-of-home meals in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey
BACKGROUND A high salt (=NaCl) intake is associated with high blood pressure, and knowledge of salt content in food and meals is important, if the salt intake has to be decreased in the general population. OBJECTIVE To determine the salt content in worksite canteen meals and fast food. DESIGN For the first part of this study, 180 canteen meals were collected from a total of 15 worksites with in-house catering facilities. Duplicate portions of a lunch meal were collected from 12 randomly selected employees at each canteen on two non-consecutive days. For the second part of the study, a total of 250 fast food samples were collected from 52 retail places representing both city (Aarhus) and provincial towns. The canteen meals and fast food samples were analyzed for chloride by potentiometric titration with silver nitrate solution, and the salt content was estimated. RESULTS The salt content in lunch meals in worksite canteens were 3.8+/-1.8 g per meal and 14.7+/-5.1 g per 10 MJ for men (n=109), and 2.8+/-1.2 g per meal and 14.4+/-6.2 g per 10 MJ for women (n=71). Salt content in fast food ranged from 11.8+/-2.5 g per 10 MJ (burgers) to 16.3+/-4.4 g per 10 MJ (sausages) with a mean content of 13.8+/-3.8 g per 10 MJ. CONCLUSION Salt content in both fast food and in worksite canteen meals is high and should be decreased.