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A survey of Chinese consumers’ knowledge, beliefs and behavioural intentions regarding salt intake and salt reduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 January 2020

Si Chen
Affiliation:
Risk Communication Division, China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, Building 2, 37 Guangqu Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Liran Christine Shan
Affiliation:
School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland
Wanting Tao
Affiliation:
Risk Communication Division, China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, Building 2, 37 Guangqu Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Ting Lu
Affiliation:
School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland
Áine Regan
Affiliation:
Teagasc Ashtown Food Research Centre, Scribbletown, Republic of Ireland
Hongwei Han
Affiliation:
Risk Communication Division, China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, Building 2, 37 Guangqu Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Lixia Guo
Affiliation:
Risk Communication Division, China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, Building 2, 37 Guangqu Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Taotao Deng
Affiliation:
National Nutrition Division, China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Patrick Wall
Affiliation:
School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland
Corresponding

Abstract

Objective:

Globally, China is among the ‘saltiest’ nations. In order to support current nationwide salt reduction initiatives, we investigated Chinese consumers’ knowledge, beliefs and behaviours related to salt intake and salt reduction.

Design:

A cross-sectional face-to-face survey was carried out, focusing on salt knowledge, beliefs and behaviours related to salt intake and salt reduction, perceptions of salt reduction responsibility and support for different national strategies.

Setting:

The survey was carried out in China mainland.

Participants:

Consumers (n 2444) from six of seven major geographical regions in China participated in the survey. After data cleaning, a sample of 2430 was included in the final analysis.

Results:

A majority of Chinese consumers believed that salt added during home cooking was the biggest contributor to their salt intake. Knowledge gaps existed in the awareness of salt hidden in certain foods and flavouring products. Chinese consumers in general were interested in lowering their salt intake. They were aware of salt reduction tools, but the adoption level was low. Consumers expressed strong support for promotion of salt-restriction spoons and public education, but not fiscal policies (e.g. salt-related tax or subsidies). In terms of individual differences, education status demonstrated a substantial impact on salt reduction knowledge and behaviour.

Conclusions:

There is still big room to ‘shake’ Chinese consumers’ salt habit. The present study provides important evidence and consumer insights to support China’s efforts to meet its salt reduction targets.

Type
Research paper
Copyright
© The Authors 2020

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Footnotes

First co-authorship.

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