Usual mean daily sodium intake estimates from foods are about 2,200 mg at ages 2–3 years, peak at about 3,800 mg at ages 19–30 years, and decline slowly to about 2,600 mg above age 70 (see Figure 5-2 and Appendix F, Table F-5). Significant numbers within all age groups exceed the UL. Appendix F, Table F-3 contains more detailed information on usual intake percentile distributions for Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) age and gender subgroups.
Median intake was compared to usual mean intake and found to be slightly lower, an average of 50–150 mg lower per day, but median intake tracks closely with mean intake (see Table 5-2 and Figure 5-2). More details on median values can be found in Appendix F, Table F-3.
Usual mean sodium intake from foods exceeds the AI for all age groups, shown for children and adults in Figures 5-3 and 5-4, respectively. This indicates that there are no concerns about inadequate sodium intake in the U.S. population.
Indeed, about 88 percent of Americans ages 2 years and older have excessive sodium intake from foods, that is, intake above the UL. As shown in Figure 5-5, sodium intake for a vast majority of people in all age groups exceeds the UL. Persons over 70 years are the largest percentage with intake below the UL; about one-third have usual sodium intake below the UL.