NHANES 2003–2004 indicate correlation values for calories-to-sodium intake greater than 0.70 for most groups.
Expressing sodium intake per 1,000 calories—sodium intake density—allows comparison of intakes without confounding related to associations between total calorie intake and total sodium intake. Appendix F (Table F-4) gives specific information for sodium intake density measures based on NHANES 2003–2006 for the DRI age and gender groups. Overall, other than children ages 2–8 years, sodium intake density values are quite similar, suggesting that many of the differences in sodium intake are a reflection of differences in calorie intake. Both men and women ages 50–71 years show the highest sodium intake density, while among adults, women 51–70 years of age show the highest sodium intake density. As would be expected, higher energy requirements are associated with higher sodium intake. Sodium intake density is considered relative to time trends in a later section.
As shown in Table 5-4, sodium intake levels are high among all racial/ethnic groups.