Self-reported taste preference can be a proxy for daily sodium intake in middle-aged Japanese adults

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 May;114(5):781-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.07.043. Epub 2013 Oct 19.


Reducing dietary salt intake remains a challenging issue in the management of chronic disease. Taste preference is suspected to be an important proxy index of daily sodium consumption. This study examined the difference in daily sodium intake according to self-reported taste preference for miso soup as representative of homemade cooking in middle-aged urban Japanese adults. Among 896 candidates randomly selected from examinees of cancer screening provided by the National Cancer Center, Japan, 143 men and women participated in this cross-sectional study. During the period from May 2007 through April 2008, participants provided a food frequency questionnaire, which included information on taste preference and dietary behaviors, a weighed food record over 4 consecutive days, a simultaneous 24-hour urine collection, and a sample of miso soup as it is usually prepared in the home. Mean 24-hour urinary sodium excretion and daily sodium intake were compared according to the self-reported taste preference for miso soup. Taste preference was significantly associated with both 24-hour urinary sodium excretion (trend P<0.01) and daily sodium intake (trend P=0.01), with a corresponding regression coefficient per 1 rank preference increment of 403 mg and 315 mg/day, respectively. The observed association between preference and urinary excretion was attenuated by further adjustment for discretionary salt-related behaviors. These findings suggest that self-reported taste preference for homemade cooking is a defining feature of daily sodium intake through discretionary salt-related dietary behaviors. A reduction in daily sodium consumption per 1 rank light preference was estimated to equate to approximately 1 g salt/day.

Keywords: Behavior; Dietary sodium; Nutrition index; Preferences; Urinary levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian People
  • Body Weight
  • Choice Behavior
  • Cooking
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Diet Records
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Food Preferences*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Self Report
  • Sodium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Sodium, Dietary / urine
  • Taste*


  • Sodium, Dietary