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Nutrients 2019, 11(2), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11020369

Sodium Levels in Packaged Foods Sold in 14 Latin American and Caribbean Countries: A Food Label Analysis

1
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology 2000 Simcoe St N, Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada
2
Costa Rican Institute of Research and Training in Nutrition and Health (INCIENSA), Tres Rios Box 4-2250, Costa Rica
3
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Medical Sciences Building, 1 Kings College Circle, Rm 5368, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
4
Independent Consultant, Washington, DC 20036, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Dietary Sodium Research to Improve Human Health)
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Abstract

Population-wide sodium reduction is a cost-effective approach to address the adverse health effects associated with excess sodium consumption. Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries consume excess dietary sodium. Packaged foods are a major contributor to sodium intake and a target for sodium reduction interventions. This study examined sodium levels in 12 categories of packaged foods sold in 14 LAC (n = 16,357). Mean sodium levels and percentiles were examined. Sodium levels were compared to regional sodium reduction targets. In this baseline analysis, 82% of foods met the regional target and 47% met the lower target. The greatest proportion of products meeting the regional target were uncooked pasta and noodles (98%), flavored cookies/crackers (97%), seasonings for sides/main dishes (96%), mayonnaise (94%), and cured/preserved meats (91%). A large proportion of foods met the lower target among uncooked pasta and noodles (88%), cooked pasta and noodles (88%), and meat/fish seasonings (88%). The highest the highest median sodium levels were among condiments (7778 mg/100 g), processed meats (870 mg/100 g), mayonnaise (755 mg/100 g), bread products (458 mg/100 g), cheese (643 mg/100 g), and snack foods (625 mg/100 g). These baseline data suggest that sodium reduction targets may need to be more stringent to enable effective lowering of sodium intake. View Full-Text
Keywords: sodium; sodium reduction; sodium targets; food supply; food policy; public health; global health sodium; sodium reduction; sodium targets; food supply; food policy; public health; global health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Arcand, J.; Blanco-Metzler, A.; Benavides Aguilar, K.; L’Abbe, M.R.; Legetic, B. Sodium Levels in Packaged Foods Sold in 14 Latin American and Caribbean Countries: A Food Label Analysis. Nutrients 2019, 11, 369.

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