Sodium intake is high in Lebanon, a country of the Middle East region where rates of cardiovascular diseases are amongst the highest in the world. This study examines salt-related knowledge, attitude and self-reported behaviors amongst adult Lebanese consumers and investigates the association of socio-demographic factors, knowledge and attitudes with salt-related behaviors. Using a multicomponent questionnaire, a cross-sectional study was conducted in nine supermarkets in Beirut, based on systematic random sampling (n = 442). Factors associated with salt-related behaviors were examined by multivariate regression analysis. Specific knowledge and attitude gaps were documented with only 22.6% of participants identifying processed foods as the main source of salt, 55.6% discerning the relationship between salt and sodium, 32.4% recognizing the daily limit of salt intake and 44.7% reporting being concerned about the amount of salt in their diet. The majority of participants reported behavioral practices that increase salt intake with only 38.3% checking for salt label content, 43.7% reporting that their food purchases are influenced by salt content and 38.6% trying to buy low-salt foods. Knowledge, attitudes and older age were found to significantly predict salt-related behaviors. Findings offer valuable insight on salt-related knowledge, attitude and behaviors in a sample of Lebanese consumers and provide key information that could spur the development of evidence-based salt-reduction interventions specific to the Middle East.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics