Deakin University
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Comparison of salt-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours between parents and caregivers of children under 18 years of age and other adults who do not care for children under 18 years of age in Victoria, Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2019-12-01, 00:00 authored by Ajam KhokharAjam Khokhar, C Nowson, Claire MargerisonClaire Margerison, B Bolam, Carley GrimesCarley Grimes
Background/AimsSalt intake among Australian adults exceeds recommendations, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours (KABs) are modifiable factors that may influence salt consumption. It is not known whether salt-related KABs among parents and caregivers of children under 18 years of age differ from other adults who do not care for children under 18 years of age. Therefore, we aimed to determine whether salt-related KABs differed between parents and caregivers and other adults. This information can be used to inform messages included in salt reduction consumer awareness campaigns.MethodsAdults, aged 18–65 years, were recruited from four shopping centres, Facebook and a consumer research panel in the state of Victoria, Australia. Participants indicated if they were a parent or a caregiver of a child/children <18 years (‘parents/caregivers’) or not (‘other adults’). Regression models, adjusted for covariates, assessed differences in KABs between the two groups. Construct scores for KABs were developed, with high scores for knowledge indicative of high salt-related knowledge, for attitude indicative of lower importance of using salt to enhance the taste of food, and for behaviours indicative of higher frequency of engaging in behaviours to reduce salt in the diet.ResultsA total of 840 parents/caregivers and 1558 other adults completed the survey. Just over half of the parents/caregivers and other adults were female, with a mean (SD) age of 41.1 (10.3) years and 44.3 (15.3) years, respectively. Mean construct scores for salt-related KABs were similar between the two groups. Parents/caregivers were less likely to be aware of the relationship between salt and sodium (OR=0.73, p=0.002) and more likely to report difficulty in interpreting sodium information displayed on food labels (OR=1.36, p=0.004). Parents/caregivers were more likely to be concerned about a range of food-related issues, including the amount of saturated fat, sugar and salt in food. Parents/caregivers were more likely to report that they were trying to reduce their salt intake (OR=1.27, p=0.012) and more likely to report adding salt at the table (OR=1.28, p=0.008).ConclusionsThere were some differences in salt-related KABs between parents/caregivers and other adults. These findings provide insight into particular messages that could be focused on in consumer awareness campaigns that seek to improve parents’/caregivers’ KABs related to salt intake. Specifically, messages targeted at parents/caregivers should include practical guidance to reduce table salt and resources to assist in interpreting sodium information on food labels and the relationship of sodium to salt.



BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health






51 - 62




London, Eng.







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C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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