16 Mar Sodium Content In Commercial Foods Remains High and Variable
MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Most sodium in the U.S. diet comes from commercially processed and restaurant foods. Sodium reduction in these foods is key to several recent public health efforts. In this paper, we provide an overview of a program led by Nutrient Data Laboratory, USDA, in partnership with CDC and FDA to monitor sodium contents in commercially processed and restaurant foods in United States.
We track about 125 highly consumed, sodium-contributing foods, termed “Sentinel Foods” annually using information from food manufacturers and periodically by nationwide sampling and laboratory analyses. In addition, we monitor over 1,100 other commercially processed and restaurant food items, termed “Priority-2 Foods,” biennially using information from food manufacturers. These foods serve as indicators for assessing changes in the sodium content of commercially processed and restaurant foods in the U.S. In addition to sodium, we are monitoring related nutrients (potassium, total dietary fiber, total and saturated fat, total sugar) because their levels may change when manufacturers and restaurants reformulate their products to reduce their sodium content.
We sampled all Sentinel Foods nationwide and reviewed all Priority-2 Foods in 2010–2013 to determine baseline sodium concentrations. The results of sodium reduction efforts, based on re-sampling of the Sentinel Foods or re-review of P2Fs, will become available in 2015 on our website. The updated data are also released in USDA food composition databases, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference and Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies.
MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: The sodium content of commercially processed and restaurant foods in the U.S. is high for many foods and often quite variable. Increased awareness of the high sodium content and variability within a food item is important for consumers, clinicians, and dietitians because of its impact on estimates of sodium intakes.
MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: The baselines values will be compared to analytical values from re-sampling of Sentinel Foods and re-review of Priority-2 Foods to track sodium reduction efforts in the U.S. We need to investigate the impact of sodium reductions on related nutrients when the results from the re-sampling become available, as the picture is complex as changes in the concentrations of related nutrients that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended for reduced (total and saturated fat, total sugar) or increased (potassium, total dietary fiber) consumption accompany sodium reduction.
Sodium monitoring in commercially processed and restaurant foods
Ahuja JK1, Pehrsson PR1, Haytowitz DB1, Wasswa-Kintu S1, Nickle M1, Showell B1, Thomas R1, Roseland J1, Williams J1, Khan M1, Nguyen Q1, Hoy K1, Martin C1, Rhodes D1, Moshfegh A1, Gillespie C1, Gunn J1, Merritt R1, Cogswell M1.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Mar;101(3):622-31. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.084954.
Epub 2015 Jan 28.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jaspreet Ahuja, Nutritionist (2015). Sodium Content In Commercial Foods Remains High and Variable