The danger food dunces: 77% of Britons fail IQ test on hidden salt, sugar and fat
00:07 GMT, 3 January 2013
11:43 GMT, 3 January 2013
Britons are unaware of the high levels of salt, sugar and saturated fat hidden in their favourite foods, a survey has revealed.
More than four out of five don’t realise that a supermarket ham and cheese sandwich contains more salt than a packet of ready salted crisps.
And almost two-thirds don’t know that the daily limit on salt is just one teaspoon.
Low food-IQ: Few Brits know how much salt is hidden in the takeaways, readymade foods and nibbles we snack on every day
The shocking findings expose wide ignorance about which foods are healthiest, with three-quarters of those questioned getting low scores in a food IQ quiz of 2,000 adults.
Fewer than one in 100 people managed to answer all 12 questions correctly.
More than half (58 per cent) don’t know a fat-free strawberry yoghurt has more sugar than a bowl of cornflakes or black coffee with two sugars.
Altogether 77 per cent got fewer than half the questions right, putting them low on the food IQ scale. One in ten could only answer four questions correctly.
Tricky questions: Less than 25 per cent of people managed to get half of these questions right – test yourself
But the survey, commissioned by the
Department of Health’s Change4Life initiative, found 84 per cent of
people want to be healthier.
The cost of food and the time needed to prepare fresh ingredients deterred many from having a healthier lifestyle.
TV chef Ainsley Harriott, the Change4Life campaign ambassador, said: ‘It’s really important to be aware of what hidden nasties may be in your food.
‘There are simple changes you can make which will help: try to prepare food at home, cut down on saturated fat, swap high sugar options for lower ones, watch out for hidden salt in foods and check the label.’
Check the sugar: Many foods that are low in fat are instead full of hidden sugar
The average daily salt intake in the UK is 8.6g, but official figures often don’t include salt added at the table or in the takeaway. The Food Standards Agency recommends a 6g limit for adults and much less for youngsters.
Research suggests people who cut back salt by about 3g a day – the equivalent of six slices of bread – can reduce their chances of developing cardiovascular disease by a quarter.
The recommended daily limit for saturated fat is 30g for men and 20g for women. For sugars it is 90g. The quiz is available at www.facebook.com/change4life