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The influence of socio‐economic status on salt consumption in Northern Ireland


Joanna Purdy , Gillian Armstrong, Heather McIlveen

Subject Keywords: Salt Intake, Low Salt, Hypertension, Processed Foods
Set: Obesity
Catalogue: Research and Evaluation
Other Outputs
Type: Article
Region: Northern Ireland

The long-established association between high salt consumption and hypertension has led to calls for a reduction in salt intake. There is particular concern for the health status of Northern Irish consumers, who already have among the highest rates of coronary heart disease and stroke in the United Kingdom. With these concerns in mind, it is essential to establish the sources and patterns of salt consumption from discretionary and processed food sources before a reduction can be achieved. This study investigated differences in salt consumption patterns among consumers of varying socio-economic status. Research consisted of a consumer questionnaire (n= 360) distributed within Northern Ireland. The results of the study revealed high discretionary salt usage and frequent consumption of processed foods among consumers of lower socio-economic status. General observations from the questionnaire would suggest a need for improved health education for consumers in this group. The objective of health promotion should be to encourage a reduction in table and cooking salt usage and, in particular, in the consumption of highly salted processed foods. Enhanced product labelling is also encouraged to increase consumer awareness of current salt levels in food and of the availability of low-salt foods. In addition, the results of this study advocate further development activity in the production of product formulations with low-salt status



Rights: © The authors
Suggested citation:

Joanna Purdy , Gillian Armstrong, Heather McIlveen. (2002) The influence of socio‐economic status on salt consumption in Northern Ireland [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 27th May 2018].


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