Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to dietary salt among adults in the state of Victoria, Australia 2015
journal contributionposted on 2017-05-30, 00:00 authored by Carley GrimesCarley Grimes, S-J Kelley, S Stanley, B Bolam, J Webster, Ajam KhokharAjam Khokhar, Caryl NowsonCaryl Nowson
BACKGROUND: Information on consumer's knowledge, attitudes and behaviours (KABs) related to salt can be used to inform awareness and education campaigns and serve as a baseline measure to monitor changes in KABs over time. The aim of this study was to determine KABs related to salt intake among Victorian adults. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey conducted in Victorian adults aged 18-65 years. Participants were recruited from shopping centres located in Melbourne and Geelong and via online methods (Facebook and Consumer Research Panel) to complete an online survey assessing KABs related to dietary salt. Descriptive statistics (mean (SD) or n (%)) were used to report survey findings. RESULTS: A total of 2398 participants provided a valid survey (mean age 43 years (SD 13), 57% female). The majority (80%) were born in Australia and 63% were the main household grocery shopper. The majority (89%) were aware of the health risks associated with a high salt intake. Eighty three percent believed that Australians eat too much salt. Three quarters (75%) correctly identified salt from processed foods as being the main source of salt in the diet. Less than a third (29%) of participants believed their own individual salt intake exceeded dietary recommendations and only 28% could correctly identify the maximum recommended daily intake for salt. Just under half (46%) of participants were concerned about the amount of salt in food. Almost two thirds (61%) of participants believed that there should be laws which limit the amount of salt added to manufactured foods and 58% agreed that it was difficult to find lower salt options when eating out. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study serve as a baseline assessment of KABs related to salt intake in Victorian adults and can be used to assess changes in salt related KABs over time. Public concern about salt is low as many people remain unaware of their own salt intake. An increased awareness of the excessive amount of salt consumed and increased availability of lower salt foods are likely to reduce population salt intake.