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Salt shakers!
Thursday 29th January, 2009

Shake your booty, not that salt cellar.

That’s the message from healthy food experts to mark national salt week (2-8 February).
To mark the tenth anniversary of the campaign, which raises awareness of the effects of salt on people’s diets, council and health trust staff will be bringing some belly dancers to Wigan’s Grand Arcade.

“The dancers will be making a serious point,” says Cllr John Hilton, cabinet champion for lifestyle. “People must start thinking about cutting down on salt in their diets. In the borough, we are working to encourage caterers to offer healthier options on their menus. Those that do will be entered into our new healthier business awards.”

Whilst the dangers of too much salt in foods is increasingly well known: high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease, many of the food options open to people remain too salty. 6 grams per day is the advised maximum, but quite often seemingly innocent foods can take you over that in just a couple of mouthfuls.

A recent she survey of over 200 food items showed that a traditional full english fry-up can contain the full adult limit in a single sitting. But perhaps more surprisingly, many croissants, pastries and muffins contain more salt than a rasher of bacon. CASH, the organisation who lobby for awareness of the effects of salt on health, found that a ‘sweet’ pastry from a well known high street coffee bar contained 1.74g of salt – a third of the daily allowance.

In the Grand Arcade on 5 February, the public will be able to get access to food facts from local experts, take the salt shaker challenge to see how much they use, and of course, watch those belly dancers.

And there’ll be opportunities to learn about health and fitness sessions as well. Cllr Hilton adds: “We need to take a long look at ourselves and our diets. Research shows us the problems, but we need to turn stats and facts into action, for the benefit of the health of every person. Come along, learn and enjoy the show!”

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