Na intakes from food sources (i.e. excluding Na in salt added in cooking or at the table) were estimated using data from the National Adult Nutrition Survey (NANS). The NANS was carried out between October 2008 and April 2010 to establish a database of habitual food and drink consumption in a representative sample of Irish adults (n 1500) aged 18 years and over. A 4-d semi-weighed food record was used to collect food intake data. Dietary intake data were analysed using WISP© (Tinuviel Software, Anglesey, UK), which is based on the sixth edition of McCance and Widdowson's The Composition of Foods (1) and the Irish food composition database(2). Under-reporters were excluded from the analysis.
* Significantly (P<0.001) higher than females in same age group.
Mean daily salt (g) intakes in adults aged 18–64 and ≥65 years exceeded the FSAI salt intake target (6 g/d)(3). These estimates do not allow for all additions in cooking or any additions at the table, generally assumed to be about 15–20% of total dietary Na intake. Meat and fish (especially cured/processed meats) and bread and rolls were the main contributors to Na intake.
Even when discretionary salt intake is excluded, mean salt intake of Irish adults exceed current FSAI salt targets.
The project was funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under the Food for Health Research Initiative.