Action on Salt calls for Government action on snack health claims

Motion on Salt have issued a warning over the salt ranges in so-called ‘wholesome’ snacks and have urged the UK Authorities to call a successor to Public Well being England to guide the salt discount marketing campaign.

To mark Salt Consciousness Week (8-14 March), researchers at Motion on Salt (based mostly at Queen Mary College of London) are at the moment calling for a restriction on using deceptive vitamin claims on unhealthy meals (deemed excessive in fats, salt and sugar: HFSS). This comes as new knowledge from the organisation claims some ‘wholesome’ snacks are in truth additionally excessive in salt and will have a unfavourable influence on shoppers’ well being.
In an evaluation of 118 snacks together with dried/roasted pulses and processed pulse snacks (lentil curls, chickpea chips and puffs) which are sometimes perceived as ‘wholesome alternate options’ to extra conventional snacking choices equivalent to crisps or flavoured nuts, the findings have raised issues amongst consultants – particularly given stories of elevated snacking throughout 2020 in comparison with pre-COVID-19. 1,2
Regardless of these merchandise being (on common) decrease in fats, saturated fats and energy, and better in fibre in comparison with normal crisps and flavoured nuts, the analysis claims over one in three (43 %) are additionally excessive in salt (ie greater than 1.5g/100g) – a forgotten ingredient that raises blood strain and will increase the danger of strokes and coronary heart assaults.  
81 % of snacks surveyed embody a nutrient based mostly declare on pack (eg ‘x kcal per serving’, ‘Much less fats’, ‘No added sugar’, ‘Supply/Excessive in fibre/protein’), and nearly all (93 %) embody claims equivalent to ‘Gluten free’, ‘Vegan’, ‘All pure’ and ‘No synthetic preservatives’.
One in three snacks surveyed additionally specify using sea salt, which is usually perceived as more healthy than normal salt, however in truth analysis has proven all of them include the identical ranges of sodium and are due to this fact equally damaging to well being.3
“We must always all be consuming extra beans and pulses, however there are higher methods of doing it, and consuming processed snacks excessive in salt shouldn’t be one in all them,” stated Sonia Pombo, Marketing campaign Supervisor at Motion on Salt.
“This essential survey has put a highlight on the pointless quantities of salt in ‘wholesome’ snacks, and using vitamin claims on HFSS meals should be questioned. As an alternative of deceptive their prospects, corporations ought to be doing all they will to assist us all make extra knowledgeable selections, together with utilizing entrance of pack color coded labels.”
The UK Authorities just lately introduced plans to limit the promotion of some unhealthy meals (ie solely meals which fall beneath the present sugar and calorie discount programmes), but it’s not clear whether or not these snacks will likely be included within the programme – though half (56 %) of those seemingly more healthy merchandise are HFSS.4
To make sure salt ranges are diminished throughout all merchandise, Motion on Salt declare it’s crucial that Ministers announce the successor to Public Well being England with a view to proceed its salt discount marketing campaign.
“The UK’s salt discount programme was as soon as world main, and international locations around the globe want to us, however it might solely achieve success whether it is correctly monitored,” stated Mhairi Brown, Coverage and Public Affairs Supervisor for Motion on Salt.
“For this reason we urgently want a substitute for Public Well being England – to make our salt discount programme world main as soon as extra.”

A survey commissioned by EIT, reporting on consuming behaviours throughout Europe discovered Britons snacked extra (27 %) than every other European nation              
Public Well being England report Impression of COVID-19 pandemic on grocery buying behaviours – discovered improve in quantity gross sales of savoury carbohydrates and snacks (19 %). 
In 2011 Motion on salt printed a survey wanting on the sodium content material of gourmand salts. 

At the moment the proposed restrictions are solely bearing in mind classes included in calorie and sugar discount programmes, not classes beneath the salt discount programme

Associated topicsAnalysis, Meals & Drink, Well being & Diet, Elements, Labelling, Weight problems, Packaging & Labelling, Regulation & Laws, Analysis & improvement, retail, Salt, The buyer

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