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Valentine's Day meal deals contain as much salt as six McDonald’s hamburgers

A new survey by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) based at Queen Mary University of London’s Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, has found that popular Valentine’s readymade meals are very high in salt, calories, fat and sugar.

14 February 2018


Salt is the forgotten killer

From the Valentine’s meal deals surveyed, the saltiest meal deal combination was from Marks & Spencer, offering customers a starter, main, side dish and dessert for two, including a bottle of wine/sparkling wine and a box of chocolates. The selected meal had more than an adult’s daily maximum recommended intake for salt in just one meal, and as much salt as six McDonald’s hamburgers. This meal combination would bring the total number of calories per person to 1,129kcal, over half an adult’s daily recommended energy intake.

Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary’s Wolfson Institute and Chairman of CASH said: “Salt is the forgotten killer as it puts up our blood pressure, leading to tens of thousands of unnecessary strokes, heart failure and heart attacks every year. Reducing salt is the most cost effective measure to reduce the number of people dying or suffering.”

Healthier options

Professor MacGregor said while the UK has made huge steps in reducing salt intake, we still have a long way to go. “The government now needs to come up with a new robust plan that slowly reduces the salt content of all foods and stop the food industry from promoting unhealthy products and causing thousands of unnecessary deaths," he added.

The findings reveal that there are some healthier meal deal combinations available across all retailers, providing customers with significantly fewer calories, saturates, sugars and salt. Unfortunately, most retailers completely fail to promote healthier choices to their customers.

CASH suggests using the FoodSwitch UK app to find healthier choices – simply scan the barcode of your regular brand to get colour coded nutrition information and see a list of healthier alternatives.

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For media information, contact:

Rupert Marquand
Public Relations Manager
Queen Mary University of London
email: r.marquand@qmul.ac.uk
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