Using the health belief model to understand the factors influencing the perceptions of people of Chinese ancestry about reducing salt consumption for hypertension prevention: A cross-sectional study

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Background High-salt diets are linked to hypertension. Chinese people in Australia, are at increased risk of hypertension due to the combination of routine addition of high quantities of salt to food during cooking and high salt levels in processed western foods. There is a scarcity of salt-related behavioural studies on this population group. This study aimed to explore the habitual salt consumption of Chinese Australians and factors that influence their perceptions about sustaining salt-related behavioural changes for hypertension prevention. Method A cross-sectional descriptive study using an adapted Determinants of Salt-Restriction Behaviour Questionnaire was conducted on 188 Chinese Australians. A non-probability sampling method was used to attract participants from different parts of Australia. Statistical analyses such as descriptive analysis, t-tests and Pearson correlation tests were performed in the study. Results Over 97% of participants did not measure the amount of salt added to their meals. Many participants reported that salt was added to their meals based on their experience (39.4%) and food taste (31.9%). Over 80% of participants did not know the recommended level of daily salt consumption. Although salt-related knowledge had no significant correlation with individuals’ salty food taste preferences, there were significant correlations with the perceptions of the severity of disease and health benefits of reducing salt consumption (p = .001 and < .001 respectively). People with stronger salty taste preferences perceived a higher level of health threat than people with lighter salty taste preferences (p = .003).

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8 August

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University of Newcastle Australia



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