World's Salt Intake Is Double Recommended Levels

Recommended levels of sodium intake are exceeded by 75% of the world's population, according to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study.

Approximately 75%t of the world’s population consumes twice as much salt as recommended by major health organizations. This data, from the first study to evaluate global sodium intake by country, age, and sex, was presented March 21 at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention 2013 Scientific Sessions.

The AHA currently recommends limiting sodium intake to 1500 mg a day or less and World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations set the limit at 2000 mg or less. According to the 2010 Global Burden of Diseases Study, however, average global sodium intake from commercially prepared food, table salt, salt and soy sauce averaged more than 4000 mg a day in 2010.

Among the 187 countries surveyed for the study, 181 exceeded the WHO’s recommended sodium intake, although not all doubled it. In the United States, the average daily intake was 3600 mg a day. Only Kenya did not exceed the AHA’s recommended sodium intake levels.

Estimates were compiled from 247 surveys of adult sodium intake stratified by age, sex, region, and nation between 1990 and 2010.

The full 2010 Global Burden of Disease report is available at The Lancet

The news release from the AHA is available here.