a1 Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand
The salt content of processed foods is important because of the high intake of Na by most New Zealanders. A database of Na concentrations in fifty-eight processed foods was compiled from existing and new data and combined with 24 h diet recall data from two national nutrition surveys (5771 respondents) to derive salt intakes for seven population groups. Mean salt intakes from processed foods ranged from 6·9 g/d for young males aged 19–24 years to 3·5 g/d for children aged 5–6 years. A total of ≥ 50 % of children aged 5–6 years, boys aged 11–14 years and young males aged 19–24 years had salt intakes that exceeded the upper limit for Na, calculated as salt (3·2–5·3 g/d), from processed foods only. Bread accounted for the greatest contribution to salt intake for each population group (35–43 % of total salt intake). Other foods that contributed 2 % or more and common across most age groups were sausage, meat pies, pizza, instant noodles and cheese. The Na concentrations of key foods have changed little over the 16-year period from 1987 to 2003 except for corned beef and whole milk that have decreased by 34 and 50 % respectively. Bread is an obvious target for salt reduction but the implication on iodine intake needs consideration as salt is used as a vehicle for iodine fortification of bread.
(Received May 30 2008)
(Revised December 18 2008)
(Accepted January 28 2009)
(Online publication March 19 2009)
Abbreviations: CNS, 2002 National Children's Nutrition Survey; NNS, 1997 National Nutrition Survey; NZTDS, New Zealand Total Diet Survey