CDC Study finds Sodium Intake is Lower than Expected
New study finds 24h dietary recall overestimate sodium and potassium intake. Using objective measures of nutritional status, in this case 24 hour urinary collection, Mercado and colleagues suggest that the discrepancy may partially reflect inaccurate food databases. In other words, foods may contain less than expected amounts of sodium.
Dietary records and 24 h urine samples were collected from 402 adults (18-39 y) to estimate usual daily intakes and excretion of sodium and potassium. Results published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlight the inaccuracy of using dietary records to assess nutritional status. Correlations between dietary intake and urinary excretion were low. Based on objective biological measures, dietary recall estimates are a ‘weak’ predictor of sodium and potassium intake.
Have you ever kept a food record? It is tedious. Underreporting is common and leads to inaccurate estimates of food intake. The problem of accurately estimating nutrient intake is compounded by the fact that food databases list only a fraction of the food products available to consumers. How can nutrient intakes be estimated when people don’t honestly report the amounts consumed and researchers don’t have food compositional data for much of what is consumed?
Nutrition science is at a tipping point. With emerging portable technologies to assess nutritional status in saliva, blood or urine quickly and cheaply, researchers (and policy makers) need to transition away from using crude dietary assessment tools.
Mercado CI, Cogswell ME, Valderrama AL, Wang C-Y, Loria CM, Moshfegh AJ, Rhodes DG, Carriquiry AL. Difference between 24-h diet recall and urine excretion for assessing population sodium and potassium intake in adults aged 18-39 y. 2014 Am J Clin Nutr doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.081604
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