Sodium intake among children is often overlooked as a public health concern. Consistent with findings from NHANES 2003–2006, data from the Third School Nutrition and Dietary Assessment (SNDA-III) Study (Gordon and Fox, 2007), conducted in 2005 by Mathematica Policy Research and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), show similar high intake estimates for school-age children. The SNDA-III data reveal a mean sodium intake from foods of 3,402 ± 46.4 mg among public school students on an average school day (Clark and Fox, 2009). Nearly 92 percent of all public school children (ages 6–18 years) were above the UL for sodium from food alone; this was highest among elementary school-age children (96 percent).
Sodium intake for children younger than 2 years is not addressed by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but data collected and analyzed by Mathematica Policy Research for the 2002 Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) indicate that high sodium intake begins early in life (Heird et al., 2006; Ziegler et al., 2006). Mean sodium intake, as estimated by this data set, exceeds the AI for infants ages 4–5 months (mean of 188 mg/d), infants 6–11 months (mean of 493 mg/d), and toddlers 12–24 months (mean of 1,638 mg/d) (Heird et al., 2006). Among toddlers, 58 percent exceed