back to article UK fast food peppered with salt

A probe into the culinary offerings of the UK's favourite fast food restaurants has found "shockingly high levels of salt in some family, individual, and children's meal options", which in many cases could result in kids receiving well over their maximum daily recommended limit in just one sitting. That's according to Consensus …


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  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Junk food in junk food is junk shock!

    No IT angle, no Paris Hilton not even alcohol gets a mention! Standards really are slipping. :-D

  2. Tony Humphreys
    Thumb Up


    So thats why those Cheese Feast pizzas taste sooooooo good.

    Its all making me feel hungry - whats the take out number - bye!

  3. The Douros

    Ministry of the Bleedin' Obvious?

    "Fast food contains all sorts of junk that is not very good for you". Not exactly breaking news, is it?

  4. Bill Fresher

    A nice healthy salad

    According to their spreadsheet the Pizza Hut Chicken & Bacon Salad has a monster 12.05g of salt per portion, which is the same as 24 bags of Walkers ready salted crisps. Yummy.

  5. Chris Collins

    Daily dose

    So, people are taking their kids to PizzaHut every day of the week, now? And that would be bad for you? Well bugger me backwards, who'd of thought it.

    You aren't going to suddenly die of salt poisoning from a couple of grams over the limit once a month. They load it with salt so that the synthi-cheese and ruskburgers taste of something. If your amorphous crotchfruit blobs are eating at McDonkeys more than once a month then it's not just salt that's the issue. Diabetes and coronary heart disease should be higher up your lists of concern.

  6. Daniel Bennett

    Hmmmmmmmm... Fooooood

    McDonalds anyone?

    Pretty old news this - though they are still much healthier than they used to be ;)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Daily does

    Excuse me, the link between salt intake and coronary heart disease is EXACTLY the point.

  8. Paul Talbot

    In other news...

    grass is green, the sky is blue and water is wet. How to I get paid to make studies into the bleedin' obvious like this?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Is this the Reg or the Daily Mail?

    Why has this MOTBO (Ministry of the Bleeding Obvious) press release been regurgitated for the Reg?

    Surely you don't think your readers are long haired unwashed geeks who live on burgers and takeaway pizza? Please leave this sort of drivel to the tabloids.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Last time I saw an official *medical* comment on this, it said that whilst excessive salt increases blood pressure in adults with high blood pressure already, there was no indication that it would create problems in people who were otherwise healthy. Assuming you don't eat the stuff by the spoonful, of course.

    What ever happened to just eating what you like, in moderation? Kept my Gran going to 100+

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Nice math!

    "Were a six-year-old to participate in this orgy of sodium, he or she could be absorbing "over four times their daily limit (3g)", CASH adds."

    For that to happen the six-year-old would have to eat as much as an adult, in which case sodium wouldn't be their main problem, would it now (especially if the child also had a couple of beers with the meal like a good adult)?

    48 divided by 4 doesn't equal 12, it's simple math...

  12. Ian

    Forget the Paris angle, etc....

    I'm just amazed that Lester didn't take advantage of "A Deluxe Boneless Box" for the usual endless fnarr-fnarr pr0n references (or possibly even a reference to Paris), not sure I'd want to share it between four though.


  13. alistair millington
    Thumb Down

    Ahh the rocket science

    The easiest and direct route for profit in these places is in soft drinks. less than 1p per litre of syrup and they sell it for £1.35, 1.85, 2.50 Same with cinemas (and salty pop corn) and pubs.

    So you are there for dinner and eating salty food which makes you more thirsty.

    ...the French fries are laced in the stuff at McDonkey

    Remember at pizza hut when the chicken pizza were vegetarian safe because it was all soya.

    And why milk shakes are so thick?

    Anyone shocked at a food standards test has released alarming results.

  14. andy gibson

    Why is food salted?

    You'll have to excuse me as I'm a man, a man who rarely cooks. But there is *no* salt in my house, I eat my meals as they come.

    Does salt really play a big part in making a meal from scratch, and if so why?

  15. John Parker

    Those were the days...

    I miss being a long haired unwashed geek who lived on bergers and pizza...

  16. Nick


    Pizza Hut for lunch anyone?

    I wonder when the MOTBO is going to insist on the warning "MAY CONTAIN SALT" being printed on Salt Shakers.

  17. Tobin

    @andy gibson

    You might be a man; but are you also a student? You're meals 'as they come' contain huge amounts of salt. Salt tastes good and acts as a preservative hence the high quantities in not just junk food but also almost all prepared food. If you cook your own fresh food you only salt to flavour.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    As someone else pointed out...

    Why not eat what tastes good, in moderation? I've always felt that hunger has an intelligence of its own, if you just listen to what it's telling you. If you're craving something salty, it's likely that your body has a need for the salt. If something tastes overly salty to you, it's time to lay off it. My Grandfather lived to 89 following this logic, while the rest of his siblings died much younger. He was an active man, to which I'd also attribute his longevity. (he ate bacon almost every day, and it wasn't a heart or blood pressure related ailment that did him in)

    </possible rationalization>

  19. Nigel Rook

    Blasted salt nazis!

    It's because of them that now, whenever i go to a Maccy Ds's, I have to ask the pipsquesk behind the counter for half a dozen sachets of salt spread unevenly over my fries in an attempt to make them resemble the salty golden wonder-sticks i remember from my youth.

    Oh uncle Thaddius, what jolly times we had...

  20. Ash


    Fast food is bad for you. I'm so shocked.

    Really. I am.

    Go report on something useful.

  21. Ted Treen



    Junk food here I come.

    With a body like mine, nudging 60, I need all the preservative I can get...........

    OK, I'll get my coat & Zimmer...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If you want to help these guys, whatever you do, don't send them a donation in cheque form.

  23. Anonymous Coward


    Salt plays a crucial role in cooking a lot of starch based foods and is essential for seasoning. You can miss it out and have bland tasting/poorly textured foods (your roast potatoes, for example, will not crisp up properly) and if you are doing a lot of excercise and living in a hot climate you will die from lack of salt. Or you can use it and you will, eventually die.

    The choice is yours.

  24. Starace


    A pressure group produces research that backs up their point!

    Bear in mind the daily recommended maximums are just that - *daily* maximums, i.e. what you can consume every day.

    So occasional excursions over the maximum are unlikely to be a problem, as on average you won't have that level of intake. Unless you eat burgers etc. every day, in which case the fat will probably get you before the salt anyway.

    And the recommended figures are probably on the conservative side, so the real intake limits are probably higher. And in any case will vary from person to person.

    I just wish all these campaign groups would go away. They never get things right, and always push their ideas too far. And none of them seems to like the idea of personal choice.

  25. David

    Ill eat what I want.

    When I walk into a fast food restaurant the last thing on my mind is how much salt is in the food. The whole point is that it tastes great at the time and it is full of tasty crap.

    If I want a deluxe bonless box ill bloody well have one, and add additional salt to taste because they don't add enough in my opnion.

    So there.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    NaCl poison!

    Most of this fast fuel stuff would taste like shit if it weren't heavily salted. ...Please pass the Lot's wife. So far Denny's is the worst around my area.

  27. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Salt is required...

    Salt is required in some foods, not just as a preservative and (natural) flavour enhancer but, for example, bread does not rise properly if there is no salt added to the dough.

    This doesn't justify ladelling it in the food like it's going out of fashion though...

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Joe Public needs Public Health, guys.

    To summarise what's been written above: we as readers, wish to deride those who want to take away our kidses' Zinger Burgers and Cheese Crusts, because:

    a) A little of what you like, does you good. (Yes, but public health wouldn't exist as a concept, if people just did what was good for them).

    b) The complainers are out for personal gain. (Too right, they should all wear papal gowns, and whip themselves with chains)

    c) People are well-educated enough to judge for themselves. (Excuse me whilst I choke...)

    d) You can't flavour food without salt. (Maybe, but as Nick Ryan points out, that doesn't justify splurging it all over everything).

    This is to say nothing of addiction to heavily-salted, heavily starched crap - and the conditioning of tastebuds along these lines; how many kids do you know, for whom chips and nuggets are their favourite food?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Salt content and Coronory Heart disease

    Well its not exactly an open and shut case is it ?

    "over 20,000 scientific studies have been published on the relationship between salt and hypertension, with conflicting and contradictory results"

    So the stuff that we have preserved our food with for 1000's of years is bad for you ? Im not so sure, processed foods and trans fatty acids would be more likely IMHO.

    A balanced diet with lots of fruit and veg, a bit of meat and some occasional treats (for the soul) ... its not exactly rocket science is it.

  30. Jon Brindley

    Death by eating

    I'm surprised that junk food doesn't give you cancer. Everything else does.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    @Joe Public Comment

    I take it you mean yourself ?

    Come on people 1 in 3 now take a degree course, try not to fall back on stereotypes, its lazy

  32. Daniel

    Salt through the ages (@A.C.)

    "So the stuff that we have preserved our food with for 1000's of years is bad for you ? Im not so sure, processed foods and trans fatty acids would be more likely IMHO."

    While I would tend to agree with you, it's important to realize that until fairly recently, salt was an expensive commodity. Thus, while it was used fairly heavily to preserve certain items (such as salt cured meats, etc.), it wasn't used nearly as heavily as a daily seasoning.


  33. Charles Hammond

    Tasteless Cardboard Needs Salt

    Without the salt how are we going to make all the tasteless carboard have taste?

    A. Fried Food Needs Salt.

    B. Dump copious amounts of sugar on top.

    C. Pass the Hot Sauce.

    D. Even Soy Sauce is full of sodium.

  34. the Jim bloke


    sounds like another acronym in search of an organisation.

    probably sounds more "sexy" to the marketroids than something like "FFOARKU" (fast food outlets are killing us), though that sounds better to me..

    Too much honesty in the name would result in a visitation by the legions of legal stormtroopers owned by the franchises.

  35. Alan Donaly

    Had to check the date

    on this story. It's been known and said for years kids don't matter they aren't going to die from the salt it's people over forty that are going to keel kids can live with high blood pressure for a long time without damage me I could die tomorrow if your one of those poor souls who waited till your forties to have kids don't clean their plates you won't get to see them reach their tenth birthday and it's not them that is going anywhere.

  36. anthony bingham

    NaCl-ed !

    It's not salt it's "Coke" 'cos it keeps the population Happy and reduces the NHS bill for "social medication" and the pressure on Fitness Farms to provide TV alternatives before we go Digitoxin ( sorry ...Digital! )

  37. Anonymous Coward

    @Alan Donaly

    I agree with you about the salt, but clearly you're not getting enough punctuation in your diet.

  38. Darryl


    Now THAT's an acronym. Either that or a really good expletive.

    Really, though. I agree, if you eat decent food in moderation, with the occasional trip to the burger joint or pizza as a treat, you'll probably outlive most people. And if you don't, FFOARKU!

    I like it

  39. Matthew Smith

    Degree Coarse

    "Come on people 1 in 3 now take a degree course, try not to fall back on stereotypes, its lazy"

    Yes, but how many of those are Media Studies and Business Admin courses where they are learning how to maximise sales of junk?

  40. A J Stiles

    The other side of the story

    It's obvious to me that none of these salt-phobics have ever been unlucky enough to see anyone suffering the symptoms of hyponatraemia.

    I nearly died of that once. It's really, really not pleasant.

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