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NewsBites December 2011 Issue

Sodium Consumption: What, Me Worry?

Despite a barrage of public-health warnings, most people aren’t concerned about their sodium intake. A new survey of 1,003 US adults for the American Dietetic Association finds that 59% say they’re “not concerned” about sodium and 70% don’t know the recommended daily maximum (1,500 mg for most Americans). Even among people with high blood pressure, only 56% know what sodium levels they should be targeting. As a priority, limiting sodium intake ranked behind other healthy-diet goals including eating more vegetables, limiting sugar and watching calories.

Another survey for the association, questioning 754 adults, reports that 49% of consumers think they’re already doing all they can to eat a healthy diet. Among steps people say they’re taking are eating more berries (48%), low-fat foods (43%) and omega-3s (39%), while cutting down on sugar (34%). TV and the Internet were the most popular sources of nutrition information, leading an association spokesperson to express concern about a switch “from regularly fact-checked forms of media such as magazine articles” to less-reliable media.

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