Restaurants serving up high levels of salt in children’s meals
An investigation by a healthy eating pressure group has revealed that some of the UK’s largest restaurant chains are selling children’s meals containing more than an entire day’s recommended intake of salt.
Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) tested 160 meals on children’s lunch menus at top pub and fast food outlets.
It found that meals being sold by the likes of Nando’s, Wetherspoons, Harvester and Sizzler contained more than the 4g of salt recommended for children per day.
Nando’s and Wetherspoons were singled out for each selling meals with more than three times the amount of salt found in a MacDonalds Happy Meal. The Nandino’s veggie burger with creamy mash contains 5.3g of salt, while Wetherspoons’ ham and cheese sandwich with chips contains 4.8g.
The report pointed out that many of the restaurants targeted by the survey also offered children’s meals with very low levels of salt. Wetherspoon’s spaghetti Bolognese for children, for example, contains just 0.1g of salt.
Cash criticized the restaurants for not providing clear nutritional information which made it impossible for parents to make informed decisions about what they were feeding their children.
Side dishes such as mashed potato and beans, and even some desserts, were also found to have high salt content.
Chains including Wetherspoons and Nando’s have already indicated they will be reviewing salt content in their children’s dishes in light of the report.
Excess levels of salt in the diet have been linked to a number of health problems, including high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke and heart disease.