CDC: Too Much Salt Still a Problem

This week's Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report (MMWR) described the most recent estimates and trends in excess sodium intake.

The CDC analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to update previous reports that include data from the 1970s to 2003.  A total of 34,916 participants aged >1 year were included in this analysis.

RELATED: Cardiovascular Disease Resource Center

During 2007–2010, about 8 out of 10 U.S. children aged 1–3 years and 9 out of 10 U.S. residents aged >4 years were at risk for high blood pressure due to excess sodium intake

Excess intake is defined as 1,500mg/day for ages 1–3 years; 1,900mg for 4–8 years; 2,200mg for 9–13 years; and 2,300mg for ≥14 years. Results showed that excess intake did not decrease among adolescents and adults.

Among children aged 1–13 years, there was a slight decline in excess usual sodium intake which may be explained by the declines in energy intake over the same period. In addition, a slight decrease was observed in average population sodium intake from 2003–2010, but not sodium intake per calorie. 

Small declines in the prevalence of excess sodium intake occurred during 2003–2010 in children aged 1–13 years, but not in adolescents or adults. Mean sodium intake declined slightly among persons aged ≥1 year, whereas sodium density did not.

Study authors concluded that most U.S. residents aged >1 year consume excess sodium. Recently, a sodium density target of 1,000mg/1,000kcal was proposed to lower sodium intake to <2,300mg/day. Possible public health efforts include developing new school food guidelines and working with industry to gradually reduce sodium in commercially processed packaged and restaurant foods.

For more information call (800) 232-4636 or visit the MMWR page.

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