CDC: Most Americans exceed recommended salt intake

A Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) report published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that sodium intake declined slightly during 2003–2010 in children ages 1–13 years, but not in adolescents or adults.

December 27, 2013

A Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) report published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that sodium intake declined slightly during 2003–2010 in children ages 1–13 years, but not in adolescents or adults.

The CDC analyzed 2003–2010 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 34,916 participants aged ≥1 year. During 2007–2010, the prevalence of excess sodium intake, defined as intake above the Institute of Medicine tolerable upper intake levels (1,500 mg/day at ages 1–3 years; 1,900 mg at 4–8 years; 2,200 mg at 9–13 years; and 2,300 mg at ≥14 years) ranged by age group from 79.1% to 95.4%. 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. Despite slight declines in some groups, the majority of the U.S. population aged ≥1 year consumes excess sodium.

During 2007–2010, the prevalence of excess usual sodium intake ranged from 79.1% for U.S. children ages 1–3 to 95.4% for U.S. adults ages 19–50. A statistically significant 2.7–4.9 percentage point decline in excess usual sodium intake occurred from 2003–2006 to 2007–2010 among children aged 1–3, 4–8, and 9–13 years, but not among adolescents or adults. Among children aged 4–8 years, statistically significant declines occurred across all sex and race/ethnicity subgroups.

Mean usual sodium intake among the U.S. population aged ≥1 year decreased slightly from 2003–2004 to 2009–2010 (3,518 mg versus 3,424 mg). The U.S. population ages ≥1 year consumed, on average, approximately 1,700 mg sodium per 1,000 kcal during 2009–2010, with no significant trend over time compared with previous investigation years. Across age groups, mean usual sodium density did not change significantly over time, with the exception of youths aged 14–18 years, for whom sodium density increased slightly. Within age groups, mean usual sodium density slightly increased among males ages 4–8 and females ages 14–18 and slightly declined among non-Hispanic whites ages ≥51.

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