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Children’s hospital meals ‘contain unhealthy fat and salt levels’

12th October 2010

A new study has revealed that children's hospital meals may be failing to meet appropriate standards for salt and saturated fat content.

Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) has conducted research in which 189 typical kids' hospital meals were tested, leading to the discovery that 85 of them exceed salt and fat limits laid down in 2008 school meal guidelines.

For example, it was shown that a chicken tikka masala meal served in a hospital contains 8.5 times more saturated fat and 14 times more salt than a chicken and vegetable balti dish provided by a school.

Professor Graham McGregor, chairman of Cash, said the findings were "shocking", particularly in light of the progress seen in making school meals healthier in recent years.

A Department of Health (DH) spokesman responded with concern to the study, saying: "We recognise the importance of good quality food for patients of all ages, both in terms of improving their health and in relation to their overall experience of services."

This comes in the same month that the DH took over control of UK nutrition policy from the Food Standards Agency.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800111546-ADNFCR

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