Sodium: The Spanish population exceeds the limits in food and beverages

    This study on sodium intake is coordinated by the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN) and has been published in the scientific journal “Nutrients” with a representative sample of 2,009 individuals between 9 and 75 years old.

    The results obtained in this work show that the Spanish population of the ANIBES scientific study ingests a total of 2,025 milligrams of sodium on average daily from food and beverages, thus exceeding the limit of 2,000 milligrams of sodium recommended by the WHO.

    This research does not include data on sodium intake from added salt during cooking or at the table, although, according to the FEN, the total population consumes approximately 5,060 milligrams daily, while the limit set by the WHO indicates that do not exceed 5,000 milligrams.

    Sodium intake by population groups

    Mean daily sodium intake was highest among adolescents 13 to 17 years old (2,351 mg / day) and children 9 to 12 years old (2,247 mg / day).

    And there are significant differences between sodium intake in children and adolescents compared to intake in adults (2,026 mg / day) and the elderly (1,693 ± 640 mg / day).

    Taking into account gender, the male population of the ANIBES study had a significantly higher total sodium intake (2,218 mg / day) than that obtained in women (1,828 mg / day), regardless of age.

    Regarding the dietary patterns of the population of the ANIBES scientific study, the analysis of sodium intake on different occasions of consumption did not show significant differences based on gender or age, or between working and non-working days.

    However, it is observed that dinner represented 30-37% of the total daily sodium intake, being the largest contributor between the different meal times, since lunch provided 25-34%, and mid-morning and mid-morning. Snacks provided only 5 – 11% of the total sodium intake.

    Sodium by food groups

    The main dietary sources of sodium in all the population groups in the ANIBES study, excluding table salt and salt added during cooking, were the meat and derivatives (27%) and cereals and derivatives (26%) groups, followed of milk and dairy products (14%), precooked (13%) and fish and shellfish (6%).

    In total, these five food and drink groups accounted for more than 80% of the sodium intake.

    The main subgroups contributing to sodium intake were cold cuts and other meat products (403.8 mg / day), followed by bread (400.4 mg / day), precooked (261.9 mg / day), cheeses ( 150.0 mg / day) and canned fish and shellfish (74.1 mg / day).

    By geographical areas and income level

    The study, although it does not observe large differences between geographical areas, observes a higher intake in the southern, eastern and northeastern regions compared to the northwest and the Canary Islands.

    Similarly, the size of the habitat does not seem to influence the sodium intake of the population, although there is a tendency to be slightly higher in rural areas than in urban areas.

    However, a different sodium intake is observed between the groups of adults (18 – 64 years) and the elderly (65 – 75 years) and between the lowest (≤ € 1,000) and higher (≥ € 2,000) income levels. ).

    In both cases, the highest intake was significantly related to population groups with higher income levels.

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