Public Health Nutrition

Assessment and methodology

Development and validation of a salt knowledge questionnaire

Rani Sarmugama1 c1, Anthony Worsleya1 and Vicki Flooda2

a1 School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia

a2 School of Health Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia


Objective Initiatives promoting the reduction of high-salt food consumption by consumers need to be partly based on current levels of salt knowledge in the population. However, to date there is no validated salt knowledge questionnaire that could be used to assess population knowledge about dietary salt (i.e. salt knowledge). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to develop and validate a salt knowledge questionnaire.

Design A cross-sectional study was conducted on an online web survey platform using convenience, snowball sampling. The survey questionnaire was evaluated for content and face validity before being administered to the respondents.

Setting Online survey.

Subjects A total of forty-one nutrition experts, thirty-two nutrition students and thirty-six lay people participated in the study.

Results Item analyses were performed to evaluate the psychometric properties of the test items. Twenty-five items were retained to form the final set of questions. The total scores of the experts were higher than those of the students and lay people (P < 0·05). The total salt knowledge score showed significant correlations with use of salt at the table (ρ = −0·197, P < 0·05) and inspection of the salt content in food products when shopping (ρ = 0·400; P < 0·01).

Conclusions The questionnaire demonstrated sufficient evidence of construct validity and internal consistencies between the items. It is likely to be a useful tool for the evaluation and measurement of levels of salt knowledge in the general population.

(Received May 21 2012)

(Revised October 25 2012)

(Accepted January 30 2013)

(Online publication March 18 2013)


  • Salt;
  • Validation;
  • Knowledge;
  • Questionnaire


c1 Corresponding author: Email