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Salt consumption of children and adults in the Netherlands : Results from the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2007-2010

Zoutconsumptie van kinderen en volwassenen in Nederland : Resultaten uit de Voedselconsumptiepeiling 2007-2010

Synopsis

In the Netherlands more than 85% of children and adults have a salt intake above the recommended maximum intake of 6 gram per day. Adult men and women consume on average 9.9 and 7.5 gram per day, respectively. For boys and girls the average salt intake is 8.3 and 6.8 gram per day, respectively. 79% of the salt comes from purchased foods. The main sources of salt intake are bread, meat products and cheese. An estimated twenty percent of the salt consumption comes from discretionary salt. These are conclusions of the present study performed by the RIVM by order of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, in which the sources of salt are investigated for the first time. A high salt consumption is associated with a higher blood pressure and can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Salt consumption can be reduced by substantial product reformulation, as well as changes in dietary habits towards a more healthy and balanced diet. This study is based on data of the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2007-2010 among 3,819 children and adults in the Netherlands. Total habitual salt consumption is estimated using food consumption data combined with data on discretionary salt use and information from the Dutch Food Composition Database (NEVO). Sources of salt: Despite differences in salt consumption between men, women and children, the sources of salt are similar. Dinner contributes most to salt intake (36%), followed by lunch (31%). The most important sources of salt at dinner, excluding discretionary table salt, are sauces and meat products. At lunch and breakfast, bread and cheese are the most important contributors of salt consumption. In between meals, the main sources are biscuits and cakes. Most salt from foods is consumed at home (69%). Consumers with a high salt intake consume relatively more foods. In addition, they consume foods with higher salt levels compared to those with the lowest salt intake.
 

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