Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 148

P06-128 - Association between salt substitutes/enhancers and the change in sodium levels in fast-food restaurants: a cross-sectional analysis

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objectives: First, to understand if salt substitutes/enhancers are present in the food supply. And second, to determine if salt substitutes and enhancers are associated with changes in sodium levels in fast-food restaurants.

A longitudinal database (MENU-FLIP) containing nutrition information for Canadian chain restaurants with ≥20 locations nationally was created in 2010 and updated in 2013 and 2016. In 2016, when available, ingredient lists were collected from restaurant websites and searched for the presence of salt substitutes/enhancers. Changes in sodium levels (per serving) and the prevalence of substitutes/enhancers in 666 foods from 12 of the leading fast-food restaurant chains were compared across three time points.

Sixty-nine percent of foods contained a salt substitute/enhancer. Substitutes/enhancers were found in every restaurant (n=12) for which ingredient data was available. The most common were yeast extracts (in 30% of foods), calcium chloride (28%), monosodium glutamate (14%) and potassium chloride (12%). Sixty-four percent of the foods that contained a substitute/enhancer decreased in sodium (mg per serving) between 2010 and 2016. Foods that contained salt substitutes/enhancers decreased by a significantly higher amount of sodium (190±42 mg per serving) when compared to foods that did not contain a salt substitute/enhancer (40±17 mg per serving, p

Interpretation: Salt substitutes/enhancers are prevalent in restaurant foods and may be a means by which restaurants are responding to calls to lower sodium.

Funding Source: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarhip (MS), McHenry Unrestricted Award (ML)

CoAuthors: Sarah Murphy – Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto; Mary L'Abbe – Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Mary J. Scourboutakos

Medical Student/Post-Doctoral Associate
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada