2014 Sodium Reduction Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To provide information about current knowledge and behaviours towards reducing sodium consumption among adults aged 18 and over living in Halton Region.

Background

Sodium is an essential nutrient most commonly found in salt but is also present in many other foods.1 The majority of individuals get most of their daily sodium from processed and restaurant foods.2 A small amount of sodium is required to maintain a healthy diet, however too much sodium can be detrimental to one’s health.1 Excess sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure - a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.1 Lowering dietary sodium can decrease the risk of these conditions.2

This Health Indicator Report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Key Findings

Watch Sodium Intake on a Regular Basis

Overall Findings

  • In 2014, 75% of Halton adults reported watching their sodium intake on a regular basis.

Sex

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported watching their sodium intake on a regular basis.

Age

  • In 2014, the percentage of Halton adults who reported watching their sodium intake on a regular basis increased as age increased. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 18-24 to all other age groups and when comparing adults aged 25-44 and 45-64 to adults aged 65+.

Municipality

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported watching their sodium intake on a regular basis.

Income

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who reported watching their sodium intake on a regular basis.

Education

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by education in the percentage of Halton adults aged 25 and over who reported watching their sodium intake on a regular basis.

Sodium Guideline Awareness

Overall Findings

  • In 2014, 69% of Halton adults reported knowing that there are specific guidelines on how much salt or sodium you should eat or drink each day.

Sex

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported knowing that there are specific guidelines on how much salt or sodium you should eat or drink each day.

Age

  • In 2014, Halton adults aged 25-44 and 45-64 were more likely than adults aged 18-24 or 65+ to report knowing that there are specific guidelines on how much salt or sodium you should eat or drink each day. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 45-64 to adults aged 65+.

Municipality

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported knowing that there are specific guidelines on how much salt or sodium you should eat or drink each day.

Income

  • In 2014, adults in the low income group were less likely than adults in the middle and high income groups to know that there are specific guidelines on how much salt or sodium you should eat or drink each day. This difference was statistically significant.

Education

  • In 2014, Halton adults aged 25 and over who were post-secondary graduates were more likely to have reported knowing that there are specific guidelines on how much salt or sodium you should eat or drink each day compared to those who were not post-secondary graduates. This difference was statistically significant.

Methods to Reduce Sodium Intake

  • In 2014, Halton adults used a variety of methods to reduce sodium intake. The top three methods included: minimizing the consumption of prepared or processed foods (40%), not adding salt when cooking (29%), and not adding salt at the table (26%).

References

  1. Health Canada. 2012. Sodium in Canada. Accessed June 2015 from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/sodium/index-eng.php (external link).
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015. Sodium and Food Sources. Accessed June 2015 from http://www.cdc.gov/salt/food.htm (external link).