90 percent of Americans eat too much salt

June 25, 2010 at 11:37 PM
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ATLANTA, June 25 (UPI) -- U.S. adults consume more than twice the current recommended sodium limit for most Americans, federal health officials said.

Fewer than 10 percent of U.S. adults restrict their daily salt consumption to the recommended levels -- less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report reported.

However, lead author Janelle Peralez Gunn, a public health analyst with CDC's division for heart disease and stroke prevention, said most people -- nearly 70 percent of the U.S. adult population, which includes those with high blood pressure, all middle-age and older adults and all African-Americans -- should limit sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day.

The study is based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, that included 24-hour dietary recall data.

One in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure and it is estimated 90 percent of U.S. adults will develop high blood pressure in their lifetime, the report said.

An estimated 77 percent of salt comes from processed and restaurant foods, but many of these products like breads and cookies, may not even taste salty.

"Sodium has become so pervasive in our food supply that it's difficult for the vast majority of Americans to stay within recommended limits," Gunn said in a statement.

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