Chinese Takeaways should Carry Health Warning Labels

HealthLifestyleNewsChinese takeaways ‘contain as much salt as five Big Macs’Ben Gelblum

Chinese ready meals and takeaway dishes should include health warnings on packaging and menus to inform customers about the food's "astonishing and harmful" salt levels, experts say.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the WHP (and really, any health organization), excess sodium ('table salt' is a sodium salt) can increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Assistant nutritionist, Sarah Alderton from Action on Salt group said that, "Considering how many millions of takeaways and ready meals are eaten in the United Kingdom each week, the food industry must be held to account, with new salt targets set by the government to ensure the salt content of these meals is reduced to much lower levels, and fast". Results of the survey, which was released on Tuesday, revealed that the worst-offending Chinese takeaway dishes contain about the same amount of salt consumed in five McDonald's Big Macs.

And 58% contained more than 3g of salt per dish - which is half an adult's maximum recommended daily intake. Study authors call on policymakers to make health labeling mandatory.

It meant having a main and a side dish would contain more salt than the recommended daily limit of 6g.

More salt is added when consumers add side dishes and dipping sauces to their meals as these provide almost another 4 grams of salt per person.

When it comes to ready meals, the saltiest Chinese dish was Slimming World's Chinese Style Banquet Rice with 4.40g salt per 550g pack - that's more salt than two store-bought Pizza Express Margherita Pizzas.

From the six dishes from six Chinese eateries investigated, 97 percent were found to contain no less than 2 grams of salt.

Action on Salt is calling on governmental action to limit levels of salt in meals through setting new salt targets, making front of pack labelling mandatory and putting warning labels on menus for dishes high in salt.

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".

"The food industry must be held to account, with new salt targets set by the government to ensure the salt content of these meals is reduced to much lower levels, and fast. We are now calling on Public Health England to take immediate action".



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