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Changes in the Sodium Content of New Zealand Processed Foods: 2003–2013

1
Heart Foundation of New Zealand, PO Box 17160, Greenlane, Auckand 1546, New Zealand
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National Institute for Health Innovation, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
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Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2015, 7(6), 4054-4067; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7064054
Received: 6 March 2015 / Revised: 12 May 2015 / Accepted: 20 May 2015 / Published: 27 May 2015
Decreasing population sodium intake has been identified as a “best buy” for reducing non-communicable disease. The aim of this study was to explore 10-year changes in the sodium content of New Zealand processed foods. Nutrient data for nine key food groups were collected in supermarkets in 2003 (n = 323) and 2013 (n = 885). Mean (SD) and median (min, max) sodium content were calculated by food group, year and label type (private/branded). Paired t-tests explored changes in sodium content for all products available for sale in both years (matched; n = 182). The mean (SD) sodium content of all foods was 436 (263) mg (100 g)−1 in 2003 and 433 (304) mg (100 g)−1 in 2013, with no significant difference in matched products over time (mean (SD) difference, −56 (122) mg (100 g)−1, 12%; p = 0.22). The largest percentage reductions in sodium (for matched products) were observed for Breakfast Cereals (28%; −123 (125) mg (100 g)−1), Canned Spaghetti (15%; −76 (111) mg (100 g)−1) and Bread (14%; −68 (69) mg (100 g)−1). The reduction in sodium was greater for matched private vs. branded foods (−69 vs. −50 mg (100 g)−1, both p < 0.001). There has been modest progress with sodium reduction in some New Zealand food categories over the past 10 years. A renewed focus across the whole food supply is needed if New Zealand is to meet its global commitment to reducing population sodium intake. View Full-Text
Keywords: sodium; salt; processed food; packaged food; food analysis; New Zealand sodium; salt; processed food; packaged food; food analysis; New Zealand
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Monro, D.; Mhurchu, C.N.; Jiang, Y.; Gorton, D.; Eyles, H. Changes in the Sodium Content of New Zealand Processed Foods: 2003–2013. Nutrients 2015, 7, 4054-4067.

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