CDC: Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans consume too much sodium

February 8, 2012

Atlanta – Nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population consumes too much sodium, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 2007 and 2008 by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, researchers looked at data for 7,227 participants older than 2. They found that, on average, participants consumed more than 3,250 milligrams of sodium daily before adding table salt – well above the recommended daily intake of 2,300 for most Americans younger than 51, according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines (.pdf file).

Sodium overconsumption has been linked to high blood pressure and, subsequently, stroke, heart disease and other vascular diseases – the causes of more than 800,000 deaths each year, according to the report.

The researchers recommended checking food labels and increasing consumption of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables without sauce. Restaurants and food manufacturers should reduce the amount of sodium added to foods, and schools can eliminate or replace high-sodium foods offered in cafeterias and vending machines, researchers said.