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Salt 'kills 1.6 million' worldwide

Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Consuming too much salt leads to more than 1.6 million heart disease-related deaths around the world each year, research suggests.

Scientists based the finding on an analysis of 205 surveys of sodium intake in countries representing nearly three-quarters of the world's adult population.

Effects of sodium on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk were determined in a separate study of pooled trial data.

The average level of sodium consumption in 2010 was found to be 3.95 grams per day - nearly double the two grammes recommended by the World Health Organisation.

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Funding for food projects 'huge boost to UK farmers'

Almost £18 million worth of funding towards 15 UK-led food projects will be a huge boost to British farmers, Environment Secretary Liz Truss has said.

This move will mean that food served in canteens across the public sector can be more local, seasonal and tastier. This is a huge boost to British farmers and producers and for students, patients and employees who want to enjoy fantastic food

– Liz Truss, Environment Secretary

Opening up public sector cash 'to help UK farmers'

Prime Minister David Cameron to inject cash into 15 UK-led food projects Credit: PA

Schools, hospitals and the wider public sector will be encouraged to buy "locally sourced" fresh and seasonal produce, according to Number 10, under an £18 million food initiative.

Up to £400 million of up to £600 million spent by the public sector on imported food and drink could be sourced from within the UK, they added.

By opening up these contracts, we can help (our farmers) create more jobs, invest in their businesses and make sure people in our country have a healthier lifestyle. It's a triple-win - and will mean a brighter future for our country.

– Prime Minister David Cameron

£18m UK-led food projects to help local farmers

Making lamb tastier to eat and growing new strawberries without soil are among research projects receiving a share of almost £18 million, Downing Street has announced.

New UK-led food projects to help local farmers Credit: PA

Fifteen UK-led projects will share funding of £12.1 million provided by Government and £5.7 million from industry, which also include investigating the protection of peas and beans from beetles without widespread insecticide spraying and using light to extend the shelf-life of fresh produce.

Millions of pounds of public sector cash will also be up for grabs to British farmers from 2017 when central government commits to buying "locally sourced" fresh and seasonal produce when it can do so, Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Over half of bread 'contains pesticides'

Pesticide residue was found in almost two thirds of bread products in the UK, according to a report based on Government figures.

Studies had shown that even very low doses of certain pesticides ingested regularly and in combination with other chemicals could have Credit: PA

The amount has more than doubled in bread products with 63% found in bread products last year, where as only 28% was found to contain pesticide residue in 2001.

The study by the Pesticide Action Network (Pan) UK and the Organic Naturally Different campaign said some 7% of the organic samples - three out of 42 products tested - contained a single residue, while none contained multiple residues.

Pan UK said the most likely explanation for this was cross-contamination from non-organic crops, either during production or storage.

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Children 'should be exposed to vegetables 5 to 10 times'

Parents who wish to encourage healthy eating in their children should start early and often, researchers from the University of Leeds have said. Lead researcher Professor Marion Hetherington, from the Institute of Psychological Sciences added:

If you want to encourage your children to eat vegetables, make sure you start early and often. Even if your child is fussy or does not like veggies, our study shows that five to 10 exposures will do the trick.

– Professor Marion Hetherington

Children 'need early taste of vegetables', study shows

Offering infants a frequent taste of vegetables may be a way to turn them on to healthy food, a study suggests.

Scientists found that starting early was the key to encouraging children to eat up their greens - or, in this case, artichoke.

Scientists found that starting early was the key to encouraging children to eat up their greens Credit: PA

The vegetable was chosen for the experiment because a survey showed it to be one of the least popular with parents.

Most babies given frequent small meals of artichoke puree increased the amount they ate over time, while 21% fell into the category of "plate clearers" who gobbled up more than 75% of each helping.

Supermarket bosses admit to ignoring sell-by dates

The heads of some of Britain's biggest supermarkets have admitted they regularly ignore sell-by and best-before dates on food they buy for their own families.

Supermarket bosses said they regularly ignored the sell-by date on food products. Credit: Jeff Moore/Jeff Moore/Empics Entertainment

Speaking to the Times magazine, the boss of Morrisons, Dalton Phillips, said he preferred to smell food to see whether it was still OK to eat.

The managing director of Waitrose, Mark Price, said he regularly ate food such as bacon, eggs and vegetables "a day or two after" the use-by date.

The head of the Co-Op's food business, Steve Murrells said: “If you’ve got food in the fridge, and it’s one day past its sell-by date, it’s fine.”

Faulty genes 'cause night munchies'

Night-time snacking is the result of your genes, according to new scientific research.

Scientists from the Salk Institute in California have found that 'night munchies' are linked to a faulty PER1 gene, which controls the body's sleeping and eating patterns.

Late night snacking has become a ritual for many people, but its cause may lie in science Credit: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

If a person's sleeping and eating habits become desynchronised, this can lead to night-time hunger pangs which disrupt sleep and may lead to over-eating and weight gain.

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