CDC grand rounds: dietary sodium reduction - time for choice

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012 Feb 10;61(5):89-91.


Excess dietary sodium is a major contributor to hypertension (high blood pressure) and a critical public health issue in the United States. Nearly one in three U.S. adults, or 68 million persons, has hypertension, and half of those do not have their condition under control. Hypertension is a major contributor to cardiovascular diseases, which are a leading cause of death, disability, and health-care costs in the United States. The average sodium intake among persons in the United States aged ≥2 years is 3,266 mg/day (excluding table salt). Current dietary guidelines recommend that reducing consumption of sodium to <2,300 mg/day, and that blacks, persons aged ≥51 years, and persons of any age with hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease (about half of the U.S. population and the majority of adults) further reduce intake to 1,500 mg/day. Regardless of age or sex, sodium intake by most U.S. residents considerably exceeds recommended levels. Reducing sodium intake to 2,300 mg/day potentially could prevent 11 million cases of hypertension and save billions of dollars in health-care expenditures; reducing sodium intake further would yield additional benefits. To achieve those reductions and help consumers make healthful choices, expanded educational efforts and monitoring of the sodium content of the food supply are needed. Increased availability of lower sodium products and reductions in the amount of sodium in foods served or sold in the marketplace also are needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Food Labeling
  • Food Supply
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Policy Making
  • Public Health
  • Restaurants
  • Sodium, Dietary / adverse effects
  • Sodium, Dietary / standards*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Sodium, Dietary