Eating occasions and the contribution of foods to sodium and potassium intakes in adults

Kacie Dickinson, Lily Chan, Carly Moores, Jacqueline Miller, Jolene Thomas, Alison Yaxley, Kathryn Jackson, Kaye Mehta, Louisa Matwiejczyk, Amanda Wray, Michelle Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To examine dietary Na and K intake at eating occasions in Australian adults and identify the contribution of major food sources to Na and K at different eating occasions. Design Secondary analysis of 24 h recall diet data from the Australian Health Survey (2011-2013). Setting Nationally representative survey in Australia. Subjects Male and female Australians aged 18-84 years (n 7818). Results Dinner contributed the greatest proportion to total daily Na intake (33 %) and K intake (35 %). Na density was highest at lunch (380 mg/MJ) and K density highest at between-meal time eating occasions (401 mg/MJ). Between-meal time eating occasions provided 20 % of daily Na intake and 26 % of daily K intake. The major food group sources of Na were different at meal times (breads and mixed dishes) compared with between-meal times (cakes, muffins, scones, cake-type desserts). The top food group sources of K at meal times were potatoes and unprocessed meat products and dishes. Conclusions Foods which contributed to Na and K intake differed according to eating occasion. Major food sources of Na were bread and processed foods. Major food sources of K were potatoes and meat products and dishes. Public health messages that emphasise meal-based advice and diet patterns high in vegetables, fruits and unprocessed foods may also aid reduction in dietary Na intake and increase in dietary K intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Diet
  • Eating occasion
  • Food
  • Meal
  • Potassium
  • Snack
  • Sodium


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