We’re lovin’ the salt

CityPress - - Voices -

South Africa’s McDon­ald’s fran­chises sell some of the salti­est Big Mac burg­ers in the world, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by World Ac­tion on Salt and Health (Wash).

The re­port by the Bri­tish non gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion lists lo­cal Big Macs as hav­ing the fourth­high­est salt con­tent, at 2.47 grams.

The salti­est Mac burg­ers are sold in Malaysia (2.7 grams). The Macs with the least salt (2.1 grams) are sold in Ire­land, Bri­tain and Turkey.

The re­port shows that the salt con­tent in recipes at McDon­ald’s, KFC, Kel­loggs and Nestlé dif­fer dra­mat­i­cally be­tween coun­tries.

Salt was re­duced in Big Macs in some coun­tries be­tween 2006 and 2014, but in South Africa the Big Mac salt con­tent has in­creased from two grams to 2.47 grams since 2006. The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion rec­om­mends a max­i­mum of be­tween four grams and 6 grams of salt per day.

Pro­fes­sor Gra­ham MacGregor, Wash chair and pro­fes­sor of car­dio­vas­cu­lar medicine at the Wolf­son In­sti­tute, Queen Mary Col­lege, Univer­sity of London, said: “Re­duc­ing salt is the most cost-ef­fec­tive mea­sure that we know to re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple suf­fer­ing and dy­ing from strokes, heart at­tacks and heart fail­ure.”

He said the lat­est study shows that many global food man­u­fac­tur­ers do not do enough to lower salt con­tent and in­stead main­tain a chaotic ap­proach.

He said salt should be re­duced in all their prod­ucts “to the low­est level and fur­ther” if we are to tackle the as­so­ci­ated health prob­lems. Health Min­is­ter Aaron Mot­soaledi has been try­ing to force food com­pa­nies to re­duce the amount of salt in bread, soups, snacks and other pro­cessed foods.

But he’s met fierce re­sis­tance both from in­dus­try and or­di­nary peo­ple. “Some [com­pa­nies] are very un­com­fort­able. They’re fight­ing and say­ing, ‘Why can’t the gov­ern­ment pro­vide dial­y­sis and kid­ney trans­plant?’ It’s some form of men­tal re­tar­da­tion to think like that, re­ally. We say, ‘If you do this, you are go­ing to keep your nor­mal kid­neys.’ You say, ‘No, I don’t want to keep them. You must pro­vide me with new kid­neys.’ It’s very dif­fi­cult to get a kid­ney trans­plant, yet that’s what peo­ple seem to be fight­ing for and we want to re­verse them from that.”

– Me­dia24

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.