Preventing Chronic Disease | Sodium Content in Packaged Foods by Census Division in the United States, 2009 - CDC
Sodium Content in Packaged Foods by Census Division in the United States, 2009
Alexandra K. Lee, MSPH; Linda J. Schieb, MSPH; Keming Yuan, MS; Joyce Maalouf, MS, MPH; Cathleen Gillespie, PhD; Mary E. Cogswell, DrPH
Suggested citation for this article: Lee AK, Schieb LJ, Yuan K, Maalouf J, Gillespie C, Cogswell ME. Sodium Content in Packaged Foods by Census Division in the United States, 2009. Prev Chronic Dis 2015;12:140500. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd12.140500.
Excess sodium intake correlates positively with high blood pressure. Blood pressure varies by region, but whether sodium content of foods sold varies across regions is unknown. We combined nutrition and sales data from 2009 to assess the regional variation of sodium in packaged food products sold in 3 of the 9 US census divisions. Although sodium density and concentration differed little by region, fewer than half of selected food products met Food and Drug Administration sodium-per-serving conditions for labeling as “healthy.” Regional differences in hypertension were not reflected in differences in the sodium content of packaged foods from grocery stores.
Excess sodium intake is a major preventable risk factor for hypertension (1,2). More than 90% of US adults consume more sodium than recommended (2,3). Recent studies highlighted the challenges of eating low-sodium diets, given the current availability of commercially packaged food products (4,5). Hypertension prevalence varies by geographic region (6). However, it is unclear if regional variation in sodium consumption exists, and, if so, whether that variation is due to regional differences in sodium content of packaged foods (7,8). The purpose of this study was to investigate regional differences in the sodium content of packaged food products sold in US grocery stores.
The authors acknowledge Kristy Gerdes and Gregory Schwartz for their contributions. The authors have no funding sources or conflicts of interest to disclose.
Corresponding Author: Linda Schieb, MSPH, Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy, NE, MS F-72, Atlanta, GA 30341. Telephone: 770-488-5348. Email: Ekf7@cdc.gov.
Author Affiliations: Alexandra K. Lee, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Keming Yuan, Joyce Maalouf, Cathleen Gillespie, Mary E. Cogswell, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.