Workers intake too much salt from dishes of eating out and food service cafeterias; direct chemical analysis of sodium content

Nutr Res Pract. 2009 Winter;3(4):328-33. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2009.3.4.328. Epub 2009 Dec 31.


The average sodium intake of Koreans was reported to be 5,279.9 mg/day, which is one of the highest intake levels worldwide. The average Koreans intake 19.6% of sodium from kimchi, showing kimchi as the main contributor of sodium in this country (Ministry of Health and Welfare, 2005). The sodium content of dishes that are frequently chosen by workers, and which were served by foodservice cafeterias were chemically analyzed. The average sodium content of one meal provided by 10 foodservice cafeterias was 2,777.7 mg. Twenty-one, one-dish-meals, frequently chosen by workers for a lunch menu, were collected at 4 different restaurants for each menu by one male, aged in the twenties and analyzed chemically also. Workers who eat lunch at a workplace cafeteria everyday could intake about 8 g of salt at a one-time meal and those who eat out for a one-dish-meal would intake 3-8 g of salt without counting sodium content from the side dishes. From these study results, one could estimate that over 10 g of salt could be possible for a single meal for workers who eat out everyday. A nationwide nutrition campaign and education for low salt diets for restaurant owners and foodservice providers should be seriously considered.

Keywords: Chemical analysis; eating out menu; sodium content.