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J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017 Jan;117(1):39-47.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2016.09.010. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

Sodium Intake among US School-Aged Children: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011-2012.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Identifying current major dietary sources of sodium can enhance strategies to reduce excess sodium intake, which occurs among 90% of US school-aged children.

OBJECTIVE:

To describe major food sources, places obtained, and eating occasions contributing to sodium intake among US school-aged children.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional analysis of data from the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

PARTICIPANTS/SETTING:

A nationally representative sample of 2,142 US children aged 6 to 18 years who completed a 24-hour dietary recall.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Population proportions of sodium intake from major food categories, places, and eating occasions.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED:

Statistical analyses accounted for the complex survey design and sampling. Wald F tests and t tests were used to examine differences between subgroups.

RESULTS:

Average daily sodium intake was highest among adolescents aged 14 to 18 years (3,565±120 mg), lowest among girls (2,919±74 mg). Little variation was seen in average intakes or the top five sodium contributors by sociodemographic characteristics or weight status. Ten food categories contributed to almost half (48%) of US school-aged children's sodium intake, and included pizza, Mexican-mixed dishes, sandwiches, breads, cold cuts, soups, savory snacks, cheese, plain milk, and poultry. More than 80 food categories contributed to the other half of children's sodium intake. Foods obtained from stores contributed 58% of sodium intake, fast-food/pizza restaurants contributed 16%, and school cafeterias contributed 10%. Thirty-nine percent of sodium intake was consumed at dinner, 31% at lunch, 16% from snacks, and 14% at breakfast.

CONCLUSIONS:

With the exception of plain milk, which naturally contains sodium, the top 10 food categories contributing to US schoolchildren's sodium intake during 2011-2012 comprised foods in which sodium is added during processing or preparation. Sodium is consumed throughout the day from multiple foods and locations, highlighting the importance of sodium reduction across the US food supply.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent; Child; Salt; School; Sodium

PMID:
27818138
PMCID:
PMC5458522
DOI:
10.1016/j.jand.2016.09.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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