Background/Aims: High sodium intake contributes to high blood pressure and poor cardiovascular health. Food and beverages contributing to dietary sodium intake at individual eating occasions are not well reported. The purpose of this study is to assess the dietary intake and food sources of sodium at meal and non-meal eating occasions in Australian adults.
Methods: The Australian Health Survey collected dietary information from Australian adults (18-85 years) in 2011-12 using 24-hour dietary recall methodology. Males and females (n=7818, 52% female) were included in the analysis that had complete data for height and weight. Eating occasions were classified as Meal Time (Breakfast (includes breakfast and brunch), Lunch and Dinner) and Non-meal time eating occasions. Discretionary sodium added to foods during preparation or at the table was not included.
Results: Mixed dishes where cereal is the major ingredient contributed the greatest proportion of total daily sodium intake (14.6% of total daily sodium intake). The eating occasion contributing the greatest proportion sodium on the day of the survey was dinner (33% of total daily sodium intake), followed by lunch (31%), snacks (19%) and breakfast (16%). The highest sodium density was observed at lunch (379mg/MJ). The greatest source of sodium at non-meal times were cakes, muffins, scones and cake-type desserts.
Conclusion: Reformulation of processed foods for reduction of sodium consumption in Australians remains an important objective. Targeting food consumption at non-meal time eating occasions and foods consumed at this time may be a useful strategy in approaching reduction in individual dietary sodium intake.
Funding source: N/A