A new CDC report warns that Americans still consume dangerously high levels of sodium, leading to a wide range of serious health risks.
With the start of a new year, many Americans are lacing up their gym shoes and paying a little more attention to what they eat as they get a jumpstart on their resolutions. Health agencies have been capitalizing on the season by issuing new research and guidelines to help people make the best dietary decisions possible.
According to an NPR report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have joined in on the conversation, releasing an analysis that warns Americans are consuming entirely too much sodium. The CDC warns that such levels of sodium intake can significantly increase the risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure, and heart disease.
What’s even more terrifying is that salt is nearly impossible to avoid in most American diets. The report, which appeared in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, showed that almost 90 percent of American adults ate more than the recommended 2,300 mg of sodium per day between 2009 and 2012.
The CDC found that men between the ages of 19 and 51 consumed a whopping 4,400 mg of sodium per day, while women in the same age group consumed roughly 3,100 mg per day. 90 percent of American children were also found to consume excessive levels of sodium on a daily basis; boys between the age of 9 and 13 consumed 3,300 mg of salt per day, and girls in the same age group consumed 3,000 mg per day on average.
The truly frightening aspect of the report is that this shocking amount of salt isn’t even added to peoples’ food on their own volition; processed foods and foods served in restaurants account for a large percentage of American sodium intake.
According to Tom Frieden, the director of the CDC, “It’s very difficult for individuals to lower consumption on their own, because there’s so much sodium in everything they eat.”
A press release from the CDC outlining the details of the recent report can be found here.