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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013 Dec 20;62(50):1021-5.

Trends in the prevalence of excess dietary sodium intake - United States, 2003-2010.


Excess sodium intake can lead to hypertension, the primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of U.S. deaths. Monitoring the prevalence of excess sodium intake is essential to provide the evidence for public health interventions and to track reductions in sodium intake, yet few reports exist. Reducing population sodium intake is a national priority, and monitoring the amount of sodium consumed adjusted for energy intake (sodium density or sodium in milligrams divided by calories) has been recommended because a higher sodium intake is generally accompanied by a higher calorie intake from food. To describe the most recent estimates and trends in excess sodium intake, 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) (3), 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.

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