Salt preference and ability to discriminate between salt content of two commercially available products of Australian Primary schoolchildren
journal contributionposted on 2019-02-13, 00:00 authored by Madi WestMadi West, Gie LiemGie Liem, Alison BoothAlison Booth, Caryl NowsonCaryl Nowson, Carley GrimesCarley Grimes
Australian children consume too much salt, primarily from processed foods where salt is often used to enhance flavour. Few studies have assessed children's salt preference in commercially available foods. This study aims to assess (1) children's preference and ability to discriminate between salt levels in two commercially available foods and (2) if preference or ability to discriminate between salt levels changes after an education program. Chips and corn flakes were tasted at three levels of salt concentration. Children ranked which they liked best (preference) and which was saltiest (ability to discriminate). The proportion of children across categorical responses was assessed (Chi squared and McNemar's test) together with changes in preference and ability to discriminate between salt levels from timepoint 1 (T1) to timepoint 2 (T2). Ninety-two children (57% female, mean age 9.1 years (SD 0.8)) participated. At T1 approximately one-half and two-thirds of children preferred the highest salt chip and cornflake, respectively, (both p < 0.05). Fifty-seven percent and 63% of children identified the highest level of salt in chips and cornflakes as the saltiest, respectively. Preference and ability to discriminate between salt levels were unchanged between timepoints. Results support product reformulation to decrease salt content of foods provided to children.