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Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine - Barts and The London

Consumers misled by health claims on high salt pulse-based snacks

Research from The Wolfson Institute’s Action on Salt group shows that of 118 pulse-based snacks assessed (such as lentil curls, chickpea chips and puffs), 43% were high in salt (>1.5g/100g).

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The majority of these products did not follow government guidance to display colour-coded nutrition information on the front of the pack, and 81% featured on-pack health claims such as ’Less fat’, ‘High in Fibre’ and ‘Source of Protein’. Researchers say this misleads consumers by creating a distorted ‘health halo’ around these snack foods. The data, released to coincide with Salt Awareness Week (8-14 March), raise serious concerns, especially given reports of increased snacking during 2020 compared with pre-Covid times, as salt raises blood pressure and increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks.