Men eat 50% more sodium than advised, research shows
Friday, 22 June 2012
People are continuing to eat far more salt than is good for their health, the latest Government figures show. Men are consuming more than 50% more sodium than the current guidelines advise, and experts have called for clear and consistent food labelling to help people to cut down.
Figures in the Department of Health’s annual report on dietary sodium intakes are derived from urinary sodium excretion measurements, taken from a representative sample of 547 adults aged 19-64 years between July and December last year.
Adults are advised to consume no more than 6g sodium a day. The mean overall daily intake during this period was 8.1g, which is following a significant downward trend from 9.5g in 2000-01. Women’s mean consumption is still over the guideline maximum, at 6.8g a day, and men’s average intake remains far higher than recommended, at 9.3g a day.
The advised maximum 6g daily intake was exceeded by 70% of people overall – 80% of men and 58% of women.
British Heart Foundation senior dietician Victoria Taylor said: “It’s good news that salt intakes appear to be slowly falling but there is still some way to go.
“Reformulation of foods has helped to reduce salt in our diets but it’s vital this work continues across the food industry so we can make further progress towards the national target of no more than 6g of salt a day.
“What is also interesting is that men are lagging behind when it comes to salt intake. We know women take advantage of food labels which could be helping them avoid salty foods, but it looks like men might need more help in the supermarket. Clear and consistent front-of-pack labels, with traffic light colours, will help us all to make healthier choices.”