Trends in dietary salt sources in Japanese adults: data from the 2007-2019 National Health and Nutrition Survey

Br J Nutr. 2022 May 4;129(4):1-14. doi: 10.1017/S0007114522001416. Online ahead of print.


Identifying trends in dietary salt sources is essential for effectively reducing salt/Na intake. This study aimed to examine the trends in dietary salt sources among Japanese adults using the 2007-2019 National Health and Nutrition Survey data collected from 95 581 adults aged ≥ 20 years. Dietary intake was estimated using the 1-d household-based dietary record. Foods reported as potential sources of salt intake in Japan and other countries were categorised into twenty-one groups. Salt intake for each food group was adjusted using the density method based on the energy intake. Trends in dietary salt intake based on food sources by sex and age groups (20-39 years, 40-59 years and ≥ 60 years) were analysed using the Joinpoint Regression Program. Salt intake for each age group in both men and women decreased from 2007 (5·3 g/1000 kcal-6·4 g/1000 kcal) to 2019 (4·9 g/1000 kcal-5·6 g/1000 kcal). The major dietary source of salt continued to be seasonings such as soya sauce and soyabean paste (approximately 70 %). Salt intake from seasonings decreased over time in adults aged ≥ 40 years but did not change in those aged 20-39 years. Additionally, a decreasing salt intake from unprocessed fish and shellfish and an increasing salt intake from unprocessed meat were observed across all age categories for both sexes. This study demonstrated that a strategy targeting different age groups may be needed to reduce salt consumption from seasonings among the Japanese population. Further studies on salt content in seasonings and continued monitoring of trends in dietary salt sources are required.

Keywords: Dietary salt sources; Japan; NHNS; Trend.