Salt intake in England 40 per cent higher than recommended max

  • Public Health England
  • 30 Apr 2020

  • curated by Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Medical News
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Adults in England consume 40 per cent more salt than the recommended maximum of 6 g/day, according to the results of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

Public Health England (PHE) reports that, in 2018/2019, the mean estimated salt intake for adults aged 19-64 years was 8.4 g/day, significantly higher than the recommended maximum of 6 g/day. Men consumed an average of 9.2 g/day, whereas women consumed 7.6 g/day.

The distribution of estimated salt intake was wide; the 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles were 2.7 g/day and 17.8 g/day.

The data show there were no statistically significant changes in salt intake between 2014 and 2018/2019.

PHE says the trend analysis showed a statistically significant downward step-change in estimated salt intake between 2005/2006 and 2008/2009, but there were no significant step changes after 2008/2009.

For men and women combined, the linear trend from 2008/2009 to 2018/2019 was close to zero, indicating no change in estimated population salt intake over this period.

Salt intake was estimated from the measurement of 24-hour urinary sodium excretion. Urine samples were collected between November 2018 and May 2019 from 596 adults. Estimated salt intake was calculated based on 17.1 mmol of sodium equalling 1.0 g of salt and assumed all urinary sodium was derived from salt and 100 per cent was excreted over 24 hours.