Vast Majority of Americans Still Consume Too Much Salt
It’s hard to get nine out of ten people to do any one thing, but that’s what’s happening in at least one area of American life -- 90 percent of people in the U.S. are consuming more than the recommended amount of sodium, mostly from salt in their diets.
That’s a startling statistic, and the over-indulgence leads to high blood pressure, raising the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke. The finding comes from a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published in the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
The report states that over 90 percent of children and 89 percent of adults in the U.S. -- regardless of age, race, gender or having high blood pressure -- consume more than the recommended limits for sodium, not including salt added to food at the table.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that people over the age of 14 should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day -- the equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt -- and less than this if they are younger. The Guidelines are based on the latest scientific evidence, which clearly shows that excessive sodium in food leads to high blood pressure, and often heart disease and stroke.
More men (98 percent) consume too much sodium than women (80 percent), and 90 percent of white adults consume too much, compared with 85 percent of black adults.
The new figures show little change in Americans' sodium consumption over the last 10 years. And, because so much of it comes from food not prepared in the home -- such as processed and restaurant food -- consumers have little choice over how to reduce their intake.
The CDC recommends lowering sodium intake in the U.S. population by gradually reducing levels in the nation's food supply.
Don't miss this week's Slice of History--The TV Dinner.