CDC survey finds bread is top source of sodium in US diet

ABC World News reported that “the Center for Diseases Control said nine out of ten adults eat too much salt. And the number one source of their salt is a surprise – bread and rolls.”

The CBS Evening News reported, “The Centers for Disease Control said today that salty snacks like potato chips are not our biggest source of sodium.”

NBC Nightly News reported that CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, said, “We’re eating more food made by others, in restaurants or prepared food from grocery stores. And when other people make food for us, they put a lot more salt in it.”

NBC’s Costello added, “More fruits, veggies and home cooking are the solution, says the CDC.”

The AP reports, “Bread and rolls are the No. 1 source of salt in the American diet, accounting for more than twice as much sodium as salty junk food like potato chips. That surprising finding comes in a government report released Tuesday that includes a list of the top 10 sources of sodium.”

CDC officials “are encouraging consumers to read labels and, for example, buy brands of bread that have lower sodium.”

CDC Director Frieden noted, “Potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn – which we think of as the saltiest foods in our diet – are only No. 10.”

“Most sodium in the US diet comes from bread, lunch meat, pizza, chicken, soup, and burgers, the CDC found,” according to the National Journal.

In a statement, CDC Director Frieden said, “We’re encouraged that some food manufacturers are already taking steps to reduce sodium,” noting that manufacturers such as Kraft and Leprino Foods are “actively working on providing customers and consumers with healthier options.”

The NPR “The Salt” blog reports, “According to the CDC, the average American consumes about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, not including any salt that may be added during a meal. … The US Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 2,300 mg a day, except if you’re over 51 years or African American or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution lists the “10 types of foods are responsible for more than 40 percent of people’s sodium intake,” according to the CDC list.

The foods are

  1. “breads and rolls;
  2. luncheon meat, such as deli ham or turkey;
  3. pizza;
  4. poultry;
  5. soups;
  6. cheeseburgers and other sandwiches;
  7. cheese;
  8. pasta dishes;
  9. meat dishes such as meat loaf; and
  10. snack foods such as potato chips, pretzels and popcorn.”

The Journal-Constitution points out that “breads and rolls aren’t saltier than many of the other foods on the CDC list, but people tend to eat a lot of them,” which makes them the cop source of salt in the diet.

MedPage Today notes, “The data come from the ‘What We Eat in America’ portion of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2008. NHANES is a survey that relies on self-reported data, a fact that may introduce bias and also raises questions about the generalizability of its findings.”
The study is published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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