This was being done in a bid to provide healthier alternatives for children and adults‚ it said in a statement released on Friday. Customers will decide what they’d rather see on the stands at the pay points.
Woolworths has already removed MSG and tartrazine‚ along with cutting the content of salt and sugar‚ from various food products.
Last year the department of health said it was considering a sugar tax to encourage South Africans to consume less sugar. Sugar contributes to obesity which is linked to other lifestyle illnesses‚ including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
“Children are considered a vulnerable group in society often with little influence on or involvement in what they eat. Evidence suggests that dietary habits in childhood and adolescence also influence eating patterns in later life‚” the health department said on its website.
Too much salt is linked to hypertension‚ strokes‚ heart attacks and high blood pressure.
The World Health Organisation recommends 5g (or a teaspoon) of salt a day‚ but the average South African has up to 9.5g a day. The problem is most of this salt is in food products.
South Africa has passed legislation to limit the amount of salt in items such as bread‚ crisps stock cubes‚ biscuits‚ instant noodles‚ processed meat and margarine. The regulations are to be phased in from next year to 2019.