Preference of food saltiness and willingness to consume low-sodium content food in a Chinese population

P. H. Chau, H. H.Y. Ngai, Yee Man Angela Leung, S. F. Li, L. O.Y. Yeung, K. C. Tan-Un

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare the preference of food saltiness and the willingness to consume low-sodium food among hypertensive older people, non-hypertensive older people and non-hypertensive young people in a Chinese population. Design: A cross-sectional study based on a quota sample. Three saltiness options (low-sodium, medium-sodium and high-sodium) of soup and bread were offered to each participant who rated the taste of each food on a 5-point Likert scale. Then, the participants rated their willingness to consume the low-sodium content foods on a 5-point Likert scale, given they were informed of the benefit of the low-sodium option. Generalised linear mixed model and multiple linear regression were used to analyse the data. Setting: Elderly centres and community centres in Hong Kong. Participants: Sixty hypertensive older people, 49 non-hypertensive older people and 60 non-hypertensive young people were recruited from June to August 2014. Measurements: The tastiness score and the willingness score were the primary outcome measures. The Chinese Health Literacy Scale for Low Salt Consumption–Hong Kong population (CHLSalt-HK) was also assessed. Results: The tastiness rating of the high-sodium option of soup was significantly lower than the medium-sodium option (p<0.001), but there was no significant difference between the low-sodium and the medium-sodium options (p=0.204). For bread, tastiness rating of the low-sodium option and the high-sodium option were significantly lower than the medium-sodium option (p<0.001 for both options). The tastiness score of soup did not have significant difference across the groups (p=0.181), but that of bread from the hypertensive older adults (p=0.012) and the non-hypertensive older adults (p=0.006) was significantly higher than the non-hypertensive young adults. Higher willingness rating to consume the low-sodium option was significantly (p<0.001) associated with higher tastiness rating of the low-sodium option of soup and bread, and weakly associated with higher health literacy of low salt intake (soup: p=0.041; bread: p=0.024). Hypertensive older adults tended to be more willing to consume the low-sodium option than non-hypertensive older adults for soup (p=0.009), there was insignificant difference between non-hypertensive older adults and non-hypertensive young adults (p=0.156). For bread, there was insignificant difference in willingness rating to consume low-sodium option (p=0.375). Conclusion: Older people are at a higher risk of hypertension, reduction of salt intake is important for them to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases. There is room for reducing the sodium content of soup, while the sodium in bread should be reduced progressively. Improving the taste of low-sodium food may help to promote reduction in dietary sodium intake.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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