All generations consume more sodium than the recommendations by the USDA's updated dietary guidelines (daily sodium intake of 2,300mg for the average person, and 1,500mgs for ages 50+), according to a report from The NPD Group.Seniors, born before 1946, and older Boomers, born 1946-1955, are on average consuming 2,912mg and 3,199 mg of sodium daily, respectively. While still above the guidelines, these are the lowest levels seen among the generations. These age groups, which have a higher incidence of high blood pressure and other heart-health related issues, also commonly check nutrition labels for sodium levels in the products they buy. On average, Younger Boomers, born 1956-1964, consume 3,280mg of sodium daily. However, over the next 10 years, this entire group will be over the age of 55 and may then have many of the same heart-related issues the older age groups have now and will likely become more concerned about sodium. Millennials, adults primarily in their 20s, consume the most sodium than any other generation, consuming, on average, 3,485mg of sodium per day. This age group also has the fewest health concerns and the most relaxed attitude toward sodium intake.
"The challenges in getting Americans closer to the guidelines are multi-faceted. Salt is an important ingredient in making foods taste good," says Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst at NPD and author of the sodium report. "Simply removing sodium from foods and/or beverages will likely be met with consumer resistance. In addition, eating habits are difficult to change. We tend to change our habits when there is a present need, such as a medical condition, as opposed to eating right for the long term. Offering popular foods and beverages with lower sodium, while maintaining their taste profiles, is a good start in shifting current sodium consumption behavior." www.npd.com