Britain’s Action For Salt health initiative released a study that points to inexpensive and convenient Chinese takeout — takeaway, if you’re British — as the single worst offender when it comes to obesity and cardiovascular health. The numbers are so bad that the NHS is considering requiring warning labels on these restaurants’ takeout containers, as well as frozen supermarket Chinese meals.
If you’ve ever watched any of the BBC’s top-notch, very addictive and thoroughly unapologetic weight loss programs, like Supersize vs. Superskinny, Secret Eaters and You Are What You Eat, you know that Chinese takeout is a major culprit of the UK’s obesity epidemic. Beyond its astronomic levels of saturated fat and tendency to include French fries with orders, the sugar and especially salt content associated with dishes like chow mein, prawn crackers, sweet and sour chicken and “special fried rice” (rice fried with shrimp, ham, chicken and vegetables, served with a sugary curry sauce) goes far beyond what would be considered a healthy daily intake. In fact, the largest amount of salt recorded in a two-serving container of Chinese food equaled the salt found in 11 1.5-ounce bags of potato chips.
“The findings from the survey are very concerning,” Hemini Bharadia of Blood Pressure UK told The Guardian. “We are all eating too much salt. This can lead to high blood pressure causing strokes and heart attacks, most of which could be avoided through better lifestyle choices.”