Fast-food company A&W was singled out Tuesday as the winner of the first national "Salt Lick Award" for having the highest sodium content meal targeted at children with its Chubby Junior Kid's Meal.
The award is an initiative of the Canadian Stroke Network, the Canadian Obesity Network and the Advanced Foods and Materials Network and coincides with World Salt Awareness Week, an 18-country effort to raise awareness about the sodium content in food.
The organizations behind the award said the Chubby Junior Kids' Meal, consisting of two Chubby chicken pieces and fries, contains 1,910 milligrams of sodium — 710 mg more than the recommended total daily intake for children aged four through eight.
Recommended daily sodium intake for children one through three years old is 1,000 mg, for four to eight it is 1,200 mg and for nine and over it is 1,500 mg.
"Parents should be concerned about the sodium in their children's diets," said Dr. Antoine Hakim of the Canadian Stroke Network in a statement.
"Salty diets are raising children's blood pressure and taking them down a path towards stroke and heart disease in adulthood."
Other high-sodium offenders singled out for the Salt Lick Awards, based on information from company websites, include:
- Boston Pizza's kid's bacon double cheeseburger quesadilla with fries, at 1,720 mg.
- Swiss Chalet's grilled cheese sandwich from the children's menu with 1,120 mg.
- Harvey's Hamburger Kids Meal, including drink, 1,485 mg.
- Burger King's Original Whopper Junior Sandwich with cheese and root beer, 965 mg.
- Wendy's junior cheeseburger deluxe, 690 mg and kids' meal fries, 270 mg.
- McDonald's junior chicken sandwich, 760 mg and small fries 180 mg.