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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Nutrient Data Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #302013

Title: Monitoring sodium in commercially processed foods from stores and restaurants

Author
item Ahuja, Jaspreet
item Pehrsson, Pamela
item Haytowitz, David
item Wasswa-kintu, Shirley - University Of Maryland
item Nickle, Melissa
item Showell, Bethany
item Thomas, Robin
item Roseland, Janet
item Williams, Juhi
item Khan, Mona - University Of Maryland
item Nguyen, Quynhanh - University Of Maryland
item Hoy, Kathy - University Of Maryland
item Martin, Carrie
item Rhodes, Donna
item Moshfegh, Alanna
item Gillespie, Cathleen - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States
item Gunn, Janelle - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States
item Merritt, Robert - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States
item Cogswell, Mary - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States

Submitted to: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2015
Publication Date: 1/28/2015
Publication URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/101/3/622.full
Citation: Ahuja, J.K., Pehrsson, P.R., Haytowitz, D.B., Wasswa-Kintu, S., Nickle, M.S., Showell, B.A., Thomas, R.G., Roseland, J.M., Williams, J.R., Khan, M., Nguyen, Q., Hoy, K., Martin, C.L., Rhodes, D.G., Moshfegh, A.J., Gillespie, C., Gunn, J., Merritt, R., Cogswell, M. 2015. Monitoring sodium in commercially processed foods from stores and restaurants. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 101:622-631.

Interpretive Summary: Most of the sodium we eat comes from commercially processed foods from stores and restaurants. Sodium reduction in these foods is a key component of several recent public health efforts. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of USDA, CDC and FDA have launched a collaborative program to monitor sodium in the US food supply. As part of the program, about 125 selected food items, termed ‘Sentinel Foods’, are being tracked as indicators to assess the changes in the sodium content of our food supply. These foods have been sampled nationwide and analyzed under the USDA’s National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program, and will be reanalyzed every 4-8 year. In addition, over 1,100 other commercially processed foods, termed ‘Priority-2 Foods’, are monitored through information obtained directly from manufacturers or restaurant chains and their websites or changes in the Nutrition Facts Panel values, every two years. All Sentinel Foods were analyzed and Priority-2 Foods were reviewed in 2011-2013. Preliminary review of the data shows a trend towards reductions in sodium levels for many foods. These updated data are publicly available for use by researchers and epidemiologists and released annually in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR) and biennially in the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS) for use in the WWEIA, NHANES. The monitoring program will help public health officials focus their sodium reduction efforts, strengthen national nutrition monitoring, and improve food composition databases.

Technical Abstract: Most of the sodium we eat comes from commercially processed foods from stores and restaurants. Sodium reduction in these foods is a key component of several recent public health efforts. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of USDA, CDC and FDA have launched a collaborative program to monitor sodium in the US food supply. This paper provides an overview of the ARS-led monitoring program, the procedures used, current progress and preliminary results. As part of the program, about 125 selected food items, termed ‘Sentinel Foods’, are being tracked as indicators to assess the changes in the sodium content of our food supply. These foods have been sampled nationwide and analyzed under the USDA’s National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program, and will be reanalyzed every 4-8 year. In addition, over 1,100 other commercially processed foods, termed ‘Priority-2 Foods’, are monitored through information obtained directly from manufacturers or restaurant chains and their websites or changes in the Nutrition Facts Panel values, every two years. All Sentinel Foods were analyzed and Priority-2 Foods were reviewed in 2011-2013. Updated data were disseminated in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR) and the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies for use in the What We Eat In America, NHANES. Preliminary review of the data shows a trend towards reductions in sodium levels for many foods. For about seventy percent of the Sentinel Foods, the new sodium values were at least ± 10% lower than previous SR values and include highly consumed foods such as bread, tomato ketchup, French fries and chicken tenders from fast food restaurants, packaged macaroni and cheese, and potato chips. The monitoring program will help public health officials focus their sodium reduction efforts, strengthen national nutrition monitoring, and improve food composition databases.