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Can J Cardiol. 2013 May;29(5):628-31. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2013.01.018. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

Results of a national survey examining Canadians' concern, actions, barriers, and support for dietary sodium reduction interventions.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Population-wide dietary sodium reduction is considered a priority intervention to address sodium-related chronic diseases. In 2010, the Canadian government adopted a sodium reduction strategy to lower sodium intakes of Canadians; however, there has been a lack of coordinated action in its implementation. Our objective was to evaluate Canadians' concern, actions, reported barriers, and support for government-led policy interventions aimed at lowering sodium intakes. We conducted a survey among Canadians about sodium knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours. Data were weighted to reflect the 2006 Canadian census. Among 2603 respondents, 67.0% were concerned about dietary sodium and 59.3% were currently taking action to limit sodium intake. Those aged 50-59 years (odds ratio [OR], 1.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17-2.72) and 60-69 years (OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.05-2.55) were more likely to be concerned about sodium vs younger individuals (20-29 years), as were hypertensive patients vs normotensive patients (OR, 4.13; 95% CI, 3.05-5.59). Older age groups and those with hypertension (OR, 3.48; 95% CI, 2.58-4.69) were also more likely to limit sodium consumption. Common barriers to sodium reduction were limited variety of lower sodium processed (55.5%) and restaurant (65.8%) foods. High support for government-led actions was observed, including interventions for lowering sodium levels in processed (86.6%) and restaurant (72.7%-74.3%) foods, and in food served in public institutions (81.8%-82.3%), and also for public education (80.4%-83.1%). There was much less support for financial incentives and disincentives. In conclusion, these concerns, barriers, and high level of support for government action provide further rationale for multi-sectoral interventions to assist Canadians in lowering their sodium intakes.

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