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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.
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.
The survey was carried out in China mainland.
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.
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.
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.
As countries struggle to meet the set targets for population salt intake, there have been calls for more regulated approaches to reducing dietary salt intake. However, little is known about how the public perceives various salt reduction policies; an important line of investigation given that the implementation and success of these policies often depend on public sentiment. We investigated the attitudes and beliefs of consumers towards salt reduction and their support for thirteen different government-led salt reduction policies.
A cross-sectional online survey measured participants’ knowledge, beliefs and attitudes in relation to salt reduction.
The survey was carried out with participants from the Republic of Ireland.
Five hundred and one participants recruited via a market research agency completed the survey.
We found that the vast majority of participants supported eleven of the government-led salt reduction policies, which included measures such as education, labelling and salt restriction in foods (both voluntary and regulated, across a range of settings). The two proposed fiscal policies (subsidising low-salt foods and taxing high-salt foods) received less support in comparison, with the majority of participants opposed to a tax on high-salt foods. A series of multiple regressions revealed that individual attitudes and beliefs related to health and salt were stronger predictors of support than sociodemographic factors, lifestyle or knowledge.
The study provides an important evidence base from which policy makers may draw when making decisions on future policy steps to help achieve national salt targets.
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