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Nutrients. 2013 May 28;5(6):1840-55. doi: 10.3390/nu5061840.

Sodium intakes of US children and adults from foods and beverages by location of origin and by specific food source.

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Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris VI, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, 91 boulevard de l'Hôpital, Paris 75013, France.


Sodium intakes, from foods and beverages, of 22,852 persons in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES 2003-2008) were examined by specific food source and by food location of origin. Analyses were based on a single 24-h recall. Separate analyses were conducted for children (6-11 years of age), adolescents (12-19), and adults (20-50 and ≥51 years). Grouping of like foods (e.g., food sources) used a scheme proposed by the National Cancer Institute, which divides foods/beverages into 96 food subgroups (e.g., pizza, yeast breads or cold cuts). Food locations of origin were stores (e.g., grocery, convenience and specialty stores), quick-service restaurant/pizza (QSR), full-service restaurant (FSR), school, or other. Food locations of sodium were also evaluated by race/ethnicity amongst adults. Stores provided between 58.1% and 65.2% of dietary sodium, whereas QSR and FSR together provided between 18.9% and 31.8% depending on age. The proportion of sodium from QSR varied from 10.1% to 19.9%, whereas that from FSR varied from 3.4% to 13.3%. School meals provided 10.4% of sodium for 6-11 year olds and 6.0% for 12-19 year olds. Pizza from QSR, the top away from home food item, provided 5.4% of sodium in adolescents. QSR pizza, chicken, burgers and Mexican dishes combined provided 7.8% of total sodium in adult diets. Most sodium came from foods purchased in stores. Food manufacturers, restaurants, and grocery stores all have a role to play in reducing the amount of sodium in the American diet.

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