Letter | Published:

Salting of food—a function of hole size and location of shakers

Nature volume 301, pages 331332 (27 January 1983) | Download Citation



The establishment of an association between hypertension and the level of sodium in the diet1–2 has focused interest in many countries on the amount of salt added to food, with estimates of intake in western countries being in the range 6–14 g per person per day3,4. As a result, many health authorities have advocated a decrease in salt consumption by the population in general5, a common suggestion for achieving a meaningful reduction being to limit the amount of salt used at the table6. It is generally assumed that salting habits are influenced by taste preference as shaped by socio-cultural determinants. However, from our observations of the rate of discretionary salt usage of over 1,900 people (mainly adults) consuming main meals in public institutions in Sydney, Australia, we suggest that salting is strongly influenced by the physical factor of mode of presentation of salt to the consumer, particularly the hole size of the salt shaker, and is not influenced by demographic variables.

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  1. School of Food Technology, University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales 2033, Australia

    • H. Greenfield
    • , J. Maples
    •  & R. B. H. Wills


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