The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is beating the drum again: We're consuming too much sodium and it's a reason we have such high rates of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Not me, you say? Well, chances are, yes, you.
An analysis appearing in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report reveals that 89 percent of U.S. adults were consuming more than the recommended 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day in the years 2009-2012, according to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, or NHANES.
On average, men between the ages of 19-51 consumed about 4,400 mg a day, while women were getting about 3,100 mg a day, according to the CDC report. The numbers were slightly lower for adults 51 and over. Some 90 percent of U.S. children of all ages also far exceeded the recommended daily amounts for their age groups. For example, boys and girls ages 9-13 consumed about 3,300 mg and 3,000 mg respectively, well above the 2,200 mg a day deemed healthful for them.
Here's what makes this problem so stubborn: Most of this sodium isn't coming from the salt shaker, which is more or less easy to regulate on an individual basis. The vast majority of the sodium we consume comes from processed foods we buy and meals we eat in restaurants. We may not realize, or have any way to find out, how much is really in there.