Public Health Nutrition

Nutrition and health

Foods contributing to sodium intake and urinary sodium excretion in a group of Australian women

Jennifer B Keogha1 c1, Kylie Langea2, Rebecca Hogartha3a4 p1 and Peter M Cliftona2 p2

a1 School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia

a2 Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Nutritional Physiology, Interventions and Outcomes, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia

a3 CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences, Adelaide, SA, Australia

a4 Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, SA, Australia


Objectives To identify food sources of Na in a group of community-dwelling women in Adelaide, South Australia. A secondary aim was to measure Na excretion in this group.

Design Survey.

Setting Community setting, Adelaide, South Australia.

Subjects Seventy healthy women (mean age 48·6 (sd 8·1) years, mean BMI 28·6 (sd 6·3) kg/m2) living in metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia and participating in a validation study of an FFQ. Dietary intake was derived from two 4 d weighed food records. Foods from the 4 d weighed food records were grouped according to foods or food groups to establish contributors to Na intake. Na excretion was measured in two 24 h urine samples. Completeness of urine collections was verified using creatinine excretion.

Results Bread alone contributed 19·0 % of Na intake, with an overall contribution from the breads and cereals group of 32·5 %. Meat products contributed 14·4 % of intake, the dairy and eggs group (excluding cheese) 9·6 % and combination dishes (e.g. pizza, quiche, sandwiches and stir fry dishes) 8·4 %. Na excretion was 126 (sd 42) mmol/d, i.e. approximately 7·6 (sd 2.5) g salt/d. Seventy per cent of participants (n 48) had Na excretion ≥100 mmol/d (146 (sd 34) mmol/d).

Conclusions Effective Na reduction could be achieved by reducing the amount in staple foods such as bread and meat products.

(Received December 18 2011)

(Revised July 23 2012)

(Accepted July 26 2012)

(Online publication August 31 2012)


  • Dietary sodium intake;
  • Urinary sodium excretion;
  • Food supply


c1 Corresponding author: Email

p1 Present address: Allied and Community Health Team, Whyalla Hosptial and Health Services, 20 Wood Terrace, Whyalla, SA 5600, Australia.

p2 Present address: Nutritional Interventions, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Level 3, 193–195 North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.