Salt intake and dietary sources of salt on weekdays and weekend days in Australian adults

Caryl Nowson, Karen Lim, Mary Ann Land, Jacqui Webster, Jonathan E. Shaw, John Chalmers, Victoria Flood, Mark Woodward, Carley Grimes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To assess if there is a difference in salt intake (24 h urine collection and dietary recall) and dietary sources of salt (Na) on weekdays and weekend days.Design A cross-sectional study of adults who provided one 24 h urine collection and one telephone-administered 24 h dietary recall.Setting Community-dwelling adults living in the State of Victoria, Australia.Subjects Adults (n 598) who participated in a health survey (53·5 % women; mean age 57·1 (95 % CI 56·2, 58·1) years).Results Mean (95 % CI) salt intake (dietary recall) was 6·8 (6·6, 7·1) g/d and 24 h urinary salt excretion was 8·1 (7·8, 8·3) g/d. Mean dietary and 24 h urinary salt (age-adjusted) were 0·9 (0·1, 1·6) g/d (P=0·024) and 0·8 (0·3, 1·6) g/d (P=0·0017), respectively, higher at weekends compared with weekdays. There was an indication of a greater energy intake at weekends (+0·6 (0·02, 1·2) MJ/d, P=0·06), but no difference in Na density (weekday: 291 (279, 304) mg/MJ; weekend: 304 (281, 327) mg/MJ; P=0·360). Cereals/cereal products and dishes, meat, poultry, milk products and gravy/sauces accounted for 71 % of dietary Na.Conclusions Mean salt intake (24 h urine collection) was more than 60 % above the recommended level of 5 g salt/d and 8-14 % more salt was consumed at weekends than on weekdays. Substantial reductions in the Na content of staple foods, processed meat, sauces, mixed dishes (e.g. pasta), convenience and takeaway foods are required to achieve a significant consistent reduction in population salt intake throughout the week.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2174-2182
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Diet
  • Salt
  • Sodium
  • Sodium chloride
  • Urinary sodium
  • Weekend


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