Only 1 in 10 Meets '05 Sodium Intake Recommendations

These numbers reflect higher sodium limits; new intake guidelines are lower
By Lindsey Marcellin
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Only one in 10 American adults adheres to the 2005 recommendation for daily sodium intake, according to a report published in the June 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

CDC researchers stratified data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 2005 to 2006 by groups according to recommended daily sodium intakes from 2005: 1,500 mg or less for all black adults, all middle-aged and older adults, and people with hypertension, and no more than 2,300 mg for all other adults.

According to the report, most adults exceed the recommended sodium limits, with only 9.6 percent having the recommended sodium intake. Of the adults in the groups recommended to keep sodium intake at or below 1,500 mg/day, only 5.5 percent did so. Of the group recommended to keep sodium intake at or below 2,300 mg/day, only 18.8 percent did so. The biggest source of dietary sodium for most adults was grains, followed by meats, and then vegetables. Given that the American Heart Association recently encouraged all adults to keep daily sodium intake below 1,500 mg, the report concludes that major dietary changes need to be made for the population as a whole, including changes in the food supply.

"Given the considerable overconsumption of sodium by most adults and the effect of sodium on blood pressure, policy and environmental changes are needed to reduce sodium intake across the U.S. population. In the United States, for example, a nationwide coalition led by New York City initiated discussions with food manufacturers to set voluntary benchmarks for lowering sodium content of specific food products. The first set of benchmarks was released in April 2010. Sixteen companies committed to meet at least one target," according to the report.

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