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.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited