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Keywords:

  • Bread;
  • breakfast cereal;
  • cheese;
  • processed food;
  • salt;
  • sausages;
  • sodium

Summary

We assessed the sodium content of Australian food items, trends over time and compared this content with sodium targets established by the UK Food Standards Agency and that of similar food items in the UK. The sodium content indicated on food labels were collected from 2005 to 2007. Fifty-three percent of food products had sodium levels above the targets. Food sub-categories containing <20% of products meeting the targets were white bread, wholemeal bread, cream cheese, low fibre breakfast cereal, savoury snack biscuits, hot dogs, sausages, canned soup, canned beans and spaghetti and canned vegetables. There was an indication that Australia had a lower number of food products that met the sodium targets compared to the UK (46% vs. 56%) and over half remain above the recommended target. A reduction in the sodium content of bread, low fibre breakfast cereals, and a number of processed snack, meat and canned goods is needed to reduce the average salt intake to 6 g day−1.