October 24, 2021

MMWR: Trends in Prevalence of Excess Dietary Sodium

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has a paper on trends in the prevalence of excess dietary sodium intake in the U.S. from 2003 to 2010. Excess sodium intake is a problem in  this country. Eating too much sodium can lead to hypertension, the primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Salt ShakerReducing population sodium intake is a national priority. CDC analyzed data from the national Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 34,916 participants. Tolerable upper intake levels are 2,300 mg per day for anyone over the age of 14. They found that the majority of the U.S. population over the age of 1 year consumes too much sodium.

The prevalence of excess usual sodium intake ranged from 79.1% for children aged 1-3 years to 95.4% for U.S. adults aged 19-50 years. A small decline occurred from 2003 to 2006 and from 2007 to 2010 among children, but not among adolescents or adults.

Overall, the American public consumes about 1,700 mg of sodium per 1,000 calorie intake every day. That means if you consume 2,000 calories per day, you are consuming 3,400 mg of sodium. The recommended daily intake of sodium for most adults is 2,300 mg per day. Ongoing public health efforts are underway, including working with processed food manufacturers to reduce sodium levels in packaged and restaurant foods. The researchers stated that “even a 400 mg reduction in mean U.S. sodium intake might save billions of health-care dollars.”


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