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Nutritional impact of sodium reduction strategies on sodium intake from processed foods

Author: Hendriksen, M.A.H. · Verkaik-Kloosterman, J. · Noort, M.W. · Raaij, J.M.A. van
Source:European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 7, 69, 805-810
Identifier: 523746
doi: doi:10.1038/ejcn.2015.15
Keywords: Nutrition · Adolescent · Adult · Aged · Caloric intake · Child · Controlled study · Female · Food · Food composition · Food intake · Food processing · Health survey · Human · Human experiment · Male · Netherlands · Normal human · Nutritional assessment · Nutritional requirement · Nutritional status · Nutritional value · Processed food · Sex difference · Sodium balance · Sodium intake · Food and Nutrition · Healthy Living · Life · FI - Functional Ingredients · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


Background/objectives: Sodium intake in the Netherlands is substantially above the recommended intake of 2400 mg/day. This study aimed to estimate the effect of two sodium reduction strategies, that is, modification of the composition of industrially processed foods toward the technologically feasible minimum level or alteration of consumers’ behavior on sodium intake in the Netherlands. Subjects/methods: Data from the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey (2007–2010) and the Food Composition Table (2011) were used to estimate the current sodium intake. In the first scenario, levels in processed foods were reduced toward their technologically feasible minimum level (sodium reduction in processed foods scenario). The minimum feasible levels were based on literature searches or expert judgment. In the second scenario, foods consumed were divided into similar food (sub)groups. Subsequently, foods were replaced by low-sodium alternatives (substitution of processed foods scenario). Sodium intake from foods was calculated based on the mean of two observation days for the current food consumption pattern and the scenarios. Results: Sodium levels of processed foods could be reduced in most food groups by 50%, and this may reduce median sodium intake from foods by 38% (from 3042 to 1886 mg/day in adult men). Substitution of foods may reduce sodium intake by 47% (from 3042 to 1627 mg/day in adult men), owing to many low-sodium alternatives within food groups. Conclusions: In the Netherlands, reduction of sodium intake by modification of food composition or by alteration of behavior may substantially reduce the median sodium intake from foods below the recommended sodium intake.