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Open AccessArticle

Consumer Knowledge, Attitudes and Salt-Related Behavior in the Middle-East: The Case of Lebanon

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Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, 11-0236 Riad El Solh, 1107-2020 Beirut, Lebanon
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Vascular Medicine Program, American University of Beirut Medical Center, 11-0236 Riad El Solh, 1107-2020 Beirut, Lebanon
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Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut, 11-0236 Riad El Solh, 1107-2020 Beirut, Lebanon
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2014, 6(11), 5079-5102; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu6115079
Received: 21 July 2014 / Revised: 1 October 2014 / Accepted: 28 October 2014 / Published: 13 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salt and Health: A Public Health Issue)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary salt; consumer; knowledge; attitude; behavior; Middle East dietary salt; consumer; knowledge; attitude; behavior; Middle East
MDPI and ACS Style

Nasreddine, L.; Akl, C.; Al-Shaar, L.; Almedawar, M.M.; Isma'eel, H. Consumer Knowledge, Attitudes and Salt-Related Behavior in the Middle-East: The Case of Lebanon. Nutrients 2014, 6, 5079-5102.

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