Results of a National Survey Examining Canadians' Concern, Actions, Barriers, and Support for Dietary Sodium Reduction Interventions

Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Canadian journal of cardiology (Impact Factor: 3.94). 03/2013; 29(5). DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2013.01.018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Population-wide dietary sodium reduction is considered a priority intervention to address sodium-related chronic diseases. In 2010, the Canadian government adopted a sodium reduction strategy to lower sodium intakes of Canadians; however, there has been a lack of coordinated action in its implementation. Our objective was to evaluate Canadians' concern, actions, reported barriers, and support for government-led policy interventions aimed at lowering sodium intakes. We conducted a survey among Canadians about sodium knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours. Data were weighted to reflect the 2006 Canadian census. Among 2603 respondents, 67.0% were concerned about dietary sodium and 59.3% were currently taking action to limit sodium intake. Those aged 50-59 years (odds ratio [OR], 1.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17-2.72) and 60-69 years (OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.05-2.55) were more likely to be concerned about sodium vs younger individuals (20-29 years), as were hypertensive patients vs normotensive patients (OR, 4.13; 95% CI, 3.05-5.59). Older age groups and those with hypertension (OR, 3.48; 95% CI, 2.58-4.69) were also more likely to limit sodium consumption. Common barriers to sodium reduction were limited variety of lower sodium processed (55.5%) and restaurant (65.8%) foods. High support for government-led actions was observed, including interventions for lowering sodium levels in processed (86.6%) and restaurant (72.7%-74.3%) foods, and in food served in public institutions (81.8%-82.3%), and also for public education (80.4%-83.1%). There was much less support for financial incentives and disincentives. In conclusion, these concerns, barriers, and high level of support for government action provide further rationale for multi-sectoral interventions to assist Canadians in lowering their sodium intakes.

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