Nutritional Epidemiological Tools for Sodium Intake


María Daniela Defagó and Nilda Raquel Perovic

Dietary sodium is a determinant of blood pressure. Modern diets provide excessive amounts of salt, and in developed and developing countries the intake of processed foods with high salt levels is increasing. In order to establish effective nutrition policy, it is necessary to know the quantity of consumed salt as well as identify the main dietary sources of salt. Different methods are currently in use for estimating dietary sodium intake. The use of 24-hour urinary collection to assess sodium intake is considered the most accurate method but involves considerable burden for participants. The use of the spot urine method has been proposed as an alternative however in not recommended without calibration methodology. Sodium estimates based on dietary surveys include several methods such the 24-hour dietary recall, the food frequency questionnaire, and the diet record, with often under-estimates intake due to under-reporting and difficulties quantifying sodium in concentration discretionary salt and recipes. Food compositions databases and nutritional softwares can be used to assess sodium consumption. More research is necessary to improve nutritional epidemiological tools for sodium intake

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