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Most Americans — Especially Those at Risk — Consume Too Much Dietary Sodium — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 21, 2011

Most Americans — Especially Those at Risk — Consume Too Much Dietary Sodium

The vast majority of Americans are not keeping within published dietary guidelines for sodium intake, according to a CDC analysis of NHANES data published in MMWR.

Government guidelines recommend that people aged 2 years and older should have less than 2300 mg of sodium daily. However, the recommended limit is even lower (1500 mg per day) for certain higher-risk groups: adults over age 50, blacks, and people with hypertension, diabetes, or kidney disease. Nearly half the population falls into these higher-risk groups, the CDC found.

The analysis showed that 88% of Americans not at risk exceed the 2300-mg limit, and 99% of those in the higher-risk categories exceed the 1500-mg limit.

The American Heart Association calls the CDC report "too conservative." It quotes a former association president: "We all should be consuming less than 1500 mg a day of sodium, unless your healthcare provider has told you that this doesn't apply to you."

Reader Comments (1)

Karen Williams

The soup served at the cafe at my clinic is so salty it's inedible. Complaints are ignored; "it comes processed that way". Please cardiologists: complain to the dietitians at your hospital food service. Change starts at home!

Competing interests: None declared

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