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Are Fast Food Companies Deliberately Making North Americans Sick?

Are Fast Food Companies Deliberately Making North Americans Sick?
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Too much salt is bad for our health, but fast food and processed meals are loaded with it. Turns out North Americans are getting more than their share. A study published in the April 16th issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows sodium levels and portion sizes vary among companies and countries.

Correcting for portion size variations among companies and countries, the results show that fries sold in Canada have twice as much salt as those in New Zealand and nearly three times as much as the ones in France.

Here are more of their findings:

  • Chicken products in the U.K. contain 1.1 grams of salt per 100 grams, while those in the U.S. contain 1.8 grams.
  • Savory breakfast items include 1.1 grams of sodium in New Zealand, 1.8 in the U.S.
  • Salads have the lowest sodium levels, but they ranged from 0.3 grams per 100 grams in Subway to 1.1 in Pizza Hut.

The researchers point out that companies are constantly reformulating their products so reducing sodium presents no major challenges. Because of companies’ concerns that competitors could gain a competitive edge, they recommend a standardized regulatory approach:

Governments setting and enforcing salt targets for industry would provide a level playing field, and no company could gain a commercial advantage by using high levels of salt.

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73 comments

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7:20PM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

Salt is a cheap way to mask the vile taste of heavily processed, low quality ingredients.

1:02PM PDT on May 27, 2012

ty

6:08PM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

Noone's forcing it down your throat. If you want to eat healthy, don't eat take-away food, simple.

6:04PM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

Just what we need, more government poking into our lives, more rules, more regulations. Why does the government always have to be the answer? If people cared about sodium they wouldn't eat there. I very rarely do, but when I do I know what I'm getting. So do the other people who eat there. It's time to stop shoving the government into everything we do. They already want to control our birth control, our internet, and a myriad of other things.

1:05PM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

Thanks for the info. Before the artifical sweetners, sodium was used in "diet" colas to make them "tasty".

5:52PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

We are all commenting, but its not making any difference because we are preaching to the choir. We are all regular users of this network for a reason, and agree that fast food companies are horrible, and we need to stop going. But how many of the 60+ commenters have actually gone to a fast food restaurant this year?
What is going to make a difference, is if we share this article, NEVER GO AGAIN, and become advocates against it. Even then, fast food companies make most of their income from people go who nearly every day, so the only thing we can do is hope that these companies get some Karma for making suckers out of all of us.

5:40PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Grease and salt are so highly addictive. My 3 yr old grandson is already "hooked" on that junk. Truly JUNK food.

4:05PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

noted-thanks

2:43PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

That's a cop-out..."they aren't forcing anyone to purchase their food", no they are not but that doesn't mean every company that produces food does not have a responsibility to the people who consume their food to provide it in a healthy manner. They are causing harm with what they serve and that is just plain wrong.



2:30PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

they aren't forcing anyone to purchase their food

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Kathleen J. Kathleen is currently the Activism Coordinator at Care2. more
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