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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518


VAZQUEZ S, Marisa Beatriz; LEMA R, Silvia N; CONTARINI C, Adriana  and  KENTEN C, Charlotte. Salt and health, Argentine consumers' views via focus groups technique. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2012, vol.39, n.4, pp.182-190. ISSN 0717-7518.

The consumption of high levels of salt (NaCl) is associated with hypertension, and possible development of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. The aim of this study was to explore consumers' understanding of salt in their daily diet, their perceptions and knowledge about health implications and actions to reduce salt intake. Four focus groups were conducted (31 participants): one with university students, two with working adults and one older woman's group. Some participants were not aware of salt content of food whereas others demonstrated an awareness of salt in food, the role of salt as a preservative, affecting taste and health implications. Reducing consumption of salt tended to be a reactive event when personal/family health events took place rather than a proactive behaviour. Participants tended to consider their own consumption ofsalt as low/moderate but those who they lived with were perceived to have a high intake based only on table salt. The three adult focus groups expressed concerns about adding salt. Alternatives to salt such as seasonings/spices could be used as strategies to reduce its consumption. At the population level campaigns involving schools and mass media were suggested. Only university students raised the need to involve the food industry and food processors in reducing salt consumption.

Keywords : sodium chloride; focus group; health; prevention; consumer.

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