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Action on Salt urges restaurants to prioritise children’s health

16th May 2024 - 06:00
Action on Salt urges restaurants to prioritise children’s health
Action on Salt is shining spotlight on salt after research found 37% of children’s main meals sold in the Out of Home (OOH) sector are found to exceed the maximum salt target (set by Government for food businesses) to be achieved by the end of 2024.

With diets high in salt being a major risk factor for raised blood pressure in both children and adults, this new research undertaken for Salt Awareness Week (13-19th May), underpins the call for Government and businesses to prioritise children’s health by:  

  • Introducing clearer labelling on children’s menus, with information on salt as well as fats and sugars at point of purchase
  • Setting mandatory salt reduction targets for all food manufacturing businesses, including the OOH sector, to improve public health

The research found nearly 50% of children’s meals sold in the OOH sector provide at least half of a child’s daily limit for salt, with some dishes containing more than a child’s entire days’ worth of salt in one meal. One in five businesses do not disclose the salt content of their online meals.

According to the new research, only six of the 37 businesses are fully compliant with the Government’s voluntary salt targets for children’s meals, set to be achieved by end of 2024.

Zoe Davies, nutritionist at Action on Salt, said: “If the Out of Home sector were as transparent as retailers, who are legally obliged to declare nutrition information on pack, surely these companies wouldn't think twice about reducing the amount of salt in their food rather than having to declare that their meals contain more salt than a child’s entire days’ worth. Parents need to be supported in fuelling their children with nutritious food, including that of meals eaten out of home.”  

Written by
Edward Waddell