Dietary sources and sodium intake in a sample of Australian preschool children.BMJ Open 2016; 6(2):e008698BO
To assess dietary sodium intake and the food sources of sodium in a sample of Australian preschool children.
Mothers were followed up when children were approximately 3.5 years of age after participating in a cluster randomised controlled trial: the Melbourne Infant Feeding Activity and Nutrition Trial Program.
251 Australian children aged 3.5 ± 0.19 (SD) years.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES
The average daily sodium intake was determined using three unscheduled 24 h dietary recalls. The contributions of food groups, core, discretionary and processed foods to daily sodium intake were assessed.
The average sodium intake was 1508 ± 495 (SD) mg/day, (salt equivalent 3.9 ± 1.3 (SD) g/day) and 87% of children exceeded the Australian Upper Level of Intake (UL) for sodium of 1000 mg/day (salt equivalent 2.6 g/day). Main food sources of sodium were cereal/cereal products (25%), milk products (19%), meat, poultry/game (17%) and cereal-based products (15%). Core foods contributed 65%, and discretionary foods 35% of total daily sodium intake, and within the total diet, minimally processed, processed, processed culinary ingredient and ultraprocessed foods contributed 16%, 35%, 1% and 48% of sodium, respectively.
Within this sample, most children exceeded the recommended UL for sodium. Core and ultraprocessed foods were key sources of sodium which suggests that reductions in the sodium content of these foods are required to reduce sodium intake in young children. These data also provide further support for public health campaigns that seek to reduce consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods.