U.S. Diet Still Has Too Much Salt, CDC Warns10/20/11
THURSDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Most Americans consume too
much sodium, and new strategies and stronger efforts are needed to
reduce the amount of dietary salt, according to a new study by
federal government researchers.
High levels of sodium consumption are associated with increased
risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and
stroke, experts warn.
In general, people aged 2 years and older should limit daily
sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg), according to the
2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
People who would benefit from reducing their sodium intake to
less than 1,500 mg per day include those aged 51 years and older,
blacks and anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic
kidney disease. These groups account for 47.6 percent of all
Americans aged 2 and older and the majority of adults.
But the new analysis of 2005-2008 data from nearly 19,000
participants in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination
Survey found that 98.6 percent of Americans who should reduce their
daily sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams, and 88.2 percent of those
who should reduce their intake to less than 2,300 mg per day,
consume more than those amounts.
The study is published in the Oct. 21 issue of the
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most of the sodium Americans consume does not come from the salt
shaker. About 75 percent of the sodium in the typical American diet
is added to commercial foods during processing or during
preparation of restaurant foods. Only about 25 percent occurs
naturally or is added at the table or in cooking by the consumer,
the CDC report explained.
This means that new population-based strategies and increased
public health efforts will be required to meet the sodium targets
in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the researchers
The study authors pointed to an effort in the United Kingdom to
show that population-level strategies can work. There, a food
manufacturer-government partnership that established voluntary
maximum levels of sodium in certain processed foods led to a 9.5
percent reduction in sodium intake over 7 to 8 years, they
In the United States, a similar reduction in sodium intake would
save an estimated $4 billion in health care costs a year and $32.1
billion over the lifetime of adults aged 40 to 85, the researchers
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers tips
reduce sodium in your diet.
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