Exposure of street food consumers to sodium and fat in the Kumasi Metropolis

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Most foods eaten away from home have been linked to poor diet quality and adverse dietary factors such as high sodium, fat and sugar levels which are related to obesity and cardiovascular diseases. This study set out to analyse the sodium and fat content of street foods and to further quantify the risk of consumers to CVD in the Kumasi Metropolis. Fifteen (15) popular food vendors of light soup typically eaten with fufu, fried rice, and noodles ‘indomie’ were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Forty-five (45) food samples were collected and analysed for their sodium content and fatty acid composition. Atomic absorption spectroscopy was used to determine the sodium content while Soxhlet extraction methods were used to estimate total fat content of the food samples (Noodles, light soup and fried rice). Triglyceride content was assessed using an Agilent 1260 HPLC system with a refractive index detector. Two hundred and fifty (250) food consumers were also interviewed to assess their frequency and quantity of consumption of street foods. Sodium and fat intakes by consumers per week was calculated by multiplying the frequency of consumption in a week and serving sizes (or weight in grams) for each food consumed by the salt/fat content of that food. ‘Indomie’ and fried rice, which are processed by frying, had more sodium and fat than soup. The fat and sodium contents per serving of ‘indomie’, fried rice, and soup were 112.11g and 862.90 mg, 61.02 g and 709.61 mg, and 13.03 g and 583.02 mg respectively. The results also revealed that samples high in sodium were also high in fat. Intakes of ‘indomie’ and fried rice at the 95th percentile were associated with significant risk (Hazard Index > 1.0). However, consumers of light soup were not at risk even at the 95th percentile.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, College of Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy, Human Nutrition and Dietetics,