Science of Salt: A focused review on salt-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, and gender differences

The aim of a review conducted by McKenzie et al was to examine the scope of studies published in the Science of Salt Weekly that contained a measure of self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and behavior (KAB) concerning salt.

Specific objectives were to examine how KAB measures are used to evaluate salt reduction intervention studies, the questionnaires used, and whether any gender differences exist in self-reported KAB. Seventy-five studies had relevant measures of KAB and were included in this review, 13 of these were salt-reduction intervention-evaluation studies, with the remainder (62) being descriptive KAB studies.

The KAB questionnaires used were specific to the populations studied, without evidence of a best practice measure. 40% of studies used KAB alone as the primary outcome measure; the remaining studies used more quantitative measures of salt intake such as 24-hour urine. Only half of the descriptive studies showed KAB outcomes disaggregated by gender, and of those, 73% showed women had more favorable KAB related to salt.

None of the salt intervention-evaluation studies showed disaggregated KAB data. Therefore, it is likely important that evaluation studies disaggregate, and are appropriately powered to disaggregate all outcomes by gender to address potential disparities.

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