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Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States
FIGURE 2-6 Mean energy intake 1977–1978 to 1994–1996 for foods eaten at home and away from home compared to total mean energy intake for persons 2 or more years of age, based on data from the 1977 National Food Consumption Survey and the 1989 and 1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals.
NOTE: d = day; kcal = calorie.
SOURCE: Nielsen and Popkin, 2003.
Panel A) during this time, their relative contributions to total intake were changing.
Current data on calorie and sodium intake from foods defined as eaten at home and away from home as collected in national surveys were assessed for this study (see Chapter 5 and Appendix F). The data from the 2003–2006 NHANES suggest that 63 percent of sodium intake comes from foods eaten at home and 37 percent from foods eaten away from home. Thus, both channels make a significant contribution to total intake. However, it is important to note that the at-home category is a mixture of processed foods (e.g., soups), prepared frozen meals and dishes, and carryout foods obtained from commercial restaurant/foodservice operations. Thus, the relative contribution of away-from-home foods is likely underestimated and the relative contribution of foods “prepared” at home is likely overestimated.
Overall, the above results underscore the potential benefit of a comprehensive approach to sodium reduction across all food channels. They also suggest that the effectiveness of sodium reduction programs will likely be enhanced if they are linked to other public health programs that focus on portion size and calorie control, as increased energy intake and portion