Measuring Children's Sodium and Potassium Intakes in NZ: A Pilot Study.Nutrients. 2018 Sep 01; 10(9)N
Low sodium and high potassium intakes in childhood protect against rises in blood pressure (BP) and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life. Our aim was to pilot methods for collection of 24-h urine samples (gold standard) and diet recalls to assess sodium and potassium intakes and their food sources in 30 children aged 8⁻11 years at one New Zealand primary school. A diverse sample (n = 27) was recruited over a two-week period. All children provided a urine sample (71% complete) and interviewer-assisted 24-h diet recall (Intake24 software). Median (range) sodium intake was 2191 (1087 to 4786) mg/day (salt equivalent 5.5 g), potassium intake was 1776 (800⁻2981) mg/day, BP was 105 (84⁻129)/62 (53⁻89) mmHg, and sodium to potassium molar ratio was 2.0 (1.1⁻4.8). Frequent use of discretionary salt was uncommon. Major food sources of sodium were bread, pies and pastries, and bread and pasta-based dishes, and potassium were sauces and condiments, dairy products, and non-alcoholic beverages. Most participants provided adequate data and enjoyed taking part. A larger survey is warranted to confirm findings and inform a potential intervention(s). Small improvements to study procedures and resources should improve completeness of urine samples and quality of 24-h diet recall data.