Background/Aims: The 2009 Food and Health Dialogue set maximum sodium levels for a range of food product groups. It is unclear if these initiatives have reduced population sodium intake. The aim of this study was to assess changes in sodium intake from food sources in Australian children aged 2-16 years from 2007 to 2011-13.
Methods: We compared data from the 2007 Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (n=4487) and the 2011-13 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (n=2548). Intakes of energy and sodium were assessed via one 24-hr dietary recall and under-reporters were excluded (n=330). Statistical analysis accounted for population weightings and the complex survey design.
Results: Mean sodium intake of children aged 2-8 years was 2042 (95%CI 2002, 2083) mg/d in 2007 and 1943 (1870, 2016) mg/d in 2011-13; 9-16 years was 2928 (2850, 3007) mg/d in 2007 and 2717 (2607, 2827) mg/d in 2011-13. The sodium density of the diet in children aged 2-8 years was 289 (283, 294) mg/MJ in 2007 and 284 (275, 293) mg/MJ in 2011-13; 9-16 years was 302 (296, 308)mg/MJ in 2007 and 290 (281, 300)mg/MJ.
Conclusion: There was a 7.2% reduction in dietary sodium intake between 2007 to 2011-13 in 9-16 year olds, and no fall in those aged 2-8 years. However there was no indication of a change in sodium density. This apparent reduction of sodium intake in older children requires further exploration of the potential changes in sodium content of main food sources of sodium.
Funding Source(s): NHF