Salt content in U.S. fast food outweighs other countries


By Nancy Shute, NPR

Want extra salt with that fast-food meal? Then buy it in the United States, where chicken dishes, pizzas, and even salads are loaded with far more salt than in Europe and Australia, according to new research.

The McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets in the United States have more than twice as much salt as their sister nuggets in the United Kingdom That’s 1.6 grams of salt for every 100 grams of American nugget, compared to 0.6 grams in the U.K.

You could say Americans are getting more for their money. You could also say they’re getting more high blood pressure and premature death.

McNuggets sold in Canada were about as salty as those in the U.S., while Australian, French, and Kiwi nuggets had significantly less salt, but not as little as in the U.K.

That may be because the United Kingdom has set voluntary limits on salt in processed food, according to Elizabeth Dunford. She’s the lead author of this study, which was published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and global database manager for the Australian arm of World Action on Salt and Health.

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