ATLANTA Americans' sodium intake is at a record high, with less than 10% of adults making a conscious effort to limit their consumption, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Sodium Intake in Adults – United States, 2005-2006," which was published on Thursday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, underscored the amount of sodium the average American consumes each day and which foods contain the highest levels of sodium.
According to the report, U.S. adults consume an average of 3,466 mg of sodium per day, more than twice the current recommended limit for most Americans. Grains provide 36.9% of this total, followed by dishes containing meat, poultry and fish (27.9%). These two categories combined accounted for almost two-thirds of the daily sodium intake for Americans. An estimated 77% of dietary sodium, the report noted, comes from processed and restaurant foods. Many of these foods, such as breads and cookies, may not even taste salty.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that people consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
"Sodium has become so pervasive in our food supply that it's difficult for the vast majority of Americans to stay within recommended limits," said Janelle Peralez Gunn, public health analyst with the CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and lead author of the report. "Public health professionals, together with food manufacturers, retailers and healthcare providers, must take action now to help support people's efforts to reduce their sodium consumption."
For more information about sodium and blood pressure, visit CDC.gov/salt.