17/04/2012 08:02 BST | Updated 17/04/2012 08:29 BST

Fast Food Contains Twice As Much Salt In US

You might think a McDonald’s meal would have the same nutritional content the world over - but American fast food is super salty, says new research.

According to findings published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the exact levels of salt in Burger King, KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza and Subway snacks vary based on the country you live in.

A study of food from Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the UK and the US, found that US McNuggets have twice as much salt as their European versions, according to the Daily Mail.

Overall, dishes from the six chains generally contained more salt than the same menu items in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Scientific American reported: “A Big Mac, for example, has 2.6 grams of salt in the U.S. versus 2.1 grams in the U.K. Chicken nuggets have an even wider disparity: a serving of about six nuggets contains 1.5 grams of salt in the U.S. and less than half of that in the U.K. (0.6 g)."

According to Katharine Jenner, campaign director for World Action On Salt And Health, and co-author of the report, the survey demonstrates "a great success story" for UK public health - but adds there is still more to done.

Reducing salt in your diet substantially reduce blood pressure and risk of heart attacks and strokes, she explains. But voluntary targets agreed between manufacturers and government to reduce salt in their food by the end of 2012 are unlikely to be met.

"Despite Andrew Lansley's lacklustre efforts to coerce the fast food giants into offering healthier food via the government’s Responsibility Deal, only Subway has pledged to reduce their salt levels in dishes. We want ALL fast food companies, including McDonalds. Burger King and Pizza Hut to take responsibility for their customers' health and to stop putting so much salt in our food,” says Jenner.

“A gradual reduction in salt can easily be done across all countries and would save millions of lives, but the global food brands still seem reluctant to provide their healthiest products to everybody.”

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