We recently featured The FoodSwitch App which is a revolutionary new smartphone application (app) originally developed in Australia by The George Institute for Global Health and tailored for New Zealand shoppers by researchers at the University of Auckland’s National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI). Is New Zealand fast food too salty? Following is a piece of commentary recently produced by the NIHI on this topic….
New Zealand’s fast foods on average contain 8 percent more sodium than comparable foods in the UK and a massive 18 percent more than those in France, as shown in an international study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
“This is a high risk to our population’s health and gives an urgent message about the need for change,” says Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu from The University of Auckland’s Clinical Trials Research Unit, one of ten researchers from six countries represented in the study. “If the UK and France have similar products with much lower salt levels, this shows that New Zealand could be – and should be – heading in the same direction.
“In the UK there is a long-standing programme where agreements between government and industry on salt targets have driven down the salt levels of processed food. The study demonstrates there is still clear room for improvement in the UK, and even more so in New Zealand. The research refutes the standard industry protest, since it shows there is no technical reason why salt content of our food can’t be reduced.”
The research project, which involved Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, the UK and the US, looked at sodium content in fast food from Burger King (Hungry Jack’s in Australia), Domino’s, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Subway. The data on sodium content were collected in April 2010.
New Zealand fast food too salty
The overall results for New Zealand’s fast foods were similar to those of Australia, with the sodium content amounting to an average of 1.3 grams per 100 grams