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Title: Sodium content in US packaged foods 2009

Author
item Gillespie, Cathleen - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States
item Malouf, Joyce - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States
item Yuan, Keming - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States
item Cogswell, Mary - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States
item Gunn, Janelle - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States
item Levings, Jessica - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States
item Moshfegh, Alanna
item Ahuja, Jaspreet
item Merritt, Robert - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States

Submitted to: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Research Technical Update
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/5/2014
Publication Date: 11/26/2014
Publication URL: http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/80400525/Articles/AJCN101_344-353.pdf
Citation: Gillespie, C., Malouf, J., Yuan, K., Cogswell, M.E., Gunn, J., Levings, J., Moshfegh, A.J., Ahuja, J.K., Merritt, R. 2014. Sodium content in US packaged foods 2009. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 101: 344-353.

Interpretive Summary: Most Americans consume more sodium than is recommended, the vast majority of which comes from commercially processed packaged and restaurant foods. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine recommended food manufacturers reduce the amount of sodium in their products. Monitoring sodium in packaged foods is necessary to evaluate the impact of these efforts. Using commercially available data from Nielsen and Gladson, we created a database with sales and Nutrition Facts Panel information for nearly 8,000 packaged food products sold in US grocery stores in 2009. We estimated the sales-weighted mean and distribution of sodium content (mg/serving, mg/100 g, and mg/kcal) of packaged foods within food groups that contribute the most dietary sodium to the US diet. We estimated the proportion of products within each category that exceed 1) the FDA’s limits for the sodium in foods using a “healthy” label claim; 2) 1,150 mg/serving, or 50% of the maximum daily intake recommended in the 2010DGA; and 3) 1.15 mg/kcal (the maximum sodium density for the DASH “intermediate” sodium diet). Products in the meat mixed dishes category had the highest mean and median sodium content per serving (966 and 970mg, respectively). Products in the salad dressing and vegetable oils category had the highest mean and median sodium concentration per 100 grams (1,072 and 1,067 mg/100g). Sodium density was highest in the soup category (18.4 mg/kcal). More than half of the products sold in 11 of the 20 food categories examined exceeded the FDA limits for products with a “healthy” label claim. In 4 categories, more than 10% of the products sold exceeded 1,150 mg/serving. In 6 categories the sodium density of all products sold exceeded 1.15 mg/kcal. The top contributors of sodium have a wide range of sodium content, and many with a large proportion exceeded limits, indicating potential for reduction. Ongoing monitoring efforts will aid in assessing sodium reduction progress.

Technical Abstract: In 2010, the Institute of Medicine recommended food manufacturers reduce the amount of sodium in their products. Monitoring sodium in packaged foods is necessary to evaluate the impact of these efforts. Using commercially available data from Nielsen and Gladson, we created a database with sales and Nutrition Facts Panel information for nearly 8,000 packaged food products sold in US grocery stores in 2009. Sales-weighted mean and distribution of sodium content (mg/serving, mg/100 g, and mg/kcal) of packaged foods within food groups that contribute the most dietary sodium to the US diet were estimated and compared against several recommendations. More than half of the products sold in 11 of the 20 food categories examined exceeded the FDA limits for products with a “healthy” label claim. The top contributors of sodium have a wide range of sodium content indicating potential for reduction. The database will provide baseline sodium information to examine progress over time. Ongoing monitoring efforts will aid policy makers and public health officials in assessing sodium reduction progress.