Determination of salt content in hot takeaway meals in the United Kingdom

Appetite. 2012 Oct;59(2):517-22. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.06.018. Epub 2012 Jul 4.


High sodium intake is associated with negative health outcomes, including an independent correlation with high blood pressure which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. A high proportion of sodium intake in the UK is from processed and out of the home food; this includes takeaway food which is increasing in popularity. The aim of the present study was to evaluate salt levels in popular hot takeaway meals. A total of 411 samples of 23 different types of takeaway meals were analysed. Obtained results show the salt content in these kinds of foods is alarmingly high. Comparing medians (interquartile range) for different meal categories, Pizzas contained the highest salt content per portion (9.45 g (6.97-12.83)), followed by Chinese meals (8.07 g (5.47-10.99 g)), Kebabs (6.21 g (4.01-8.35)) and Indian meals (4.73 g (3.61-6.10)). In addition, significant differences in the salt content between meals within the same category were reported. To enable the consumer to meet the UK's target salt intake, a significant reduction in the salt content of hot takeaway meals should be considered.

MeSH terms

  • Cooking / methods
  • Food Analysis / methods*
  • Food Services / standards*
  • Food*
  • Meals*
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Nutritive Value
  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary / analysis*
  • United Kingdom


  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary