The association of knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to salt with 24-hour urinary sodium excretion

Mary Land, Jacqui Webster, Anthea Christoforou, Claire Johnson, Helen Trevena, Frances Hodgins, John Chalmers, Mark Woodward, Federica Barzi, Wayne Smith, Victoria Flood, Paul Jeffery, Caryl Nowson, Bruce Neal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    37 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aim: Salt reduction efforts usually have a strong focus on consumer education. Understanding the association between salt consumption levels and knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards salt should provide insight into the likely effectiveness of education-based programs.Methods: A single 24-hour urine sample and a questionnaire describing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours was obtained from 306 randomly selected participants and 113 volunteers from a regional town in Australia.Results: Mean age of all participants was 55 years (range 20-88), 55% were women and mean 24-hour urinary salt excretion was 8.8(3.6) g/d. There was no difference in salt excretion between the randomly selected and volunteer sample. Virtually all participants (95%) identified that a diet high in salt can cause serious health problems with the majority of participants (81%) linking a high salt diet to raised blood pressure. There was no difference in salt excretion between those who did 8.7(2.1) g/d and did not 7.5(3.3) g/d identify that a diet high in salt causes high blood pressure (p = 0.1). Nor was there a difference between individuals who believed they consumed " too much" 8.9(3.3) g/d " just the right amount" 8.4(2.6) g/d or " too little salt" 9.1(3.7) g/d (p = 0.2). Likewise, individuals who indicated that lowering their salt intake was important 8.5(2.9) g/d vs. not important 8.8(2.4) g/d did not have different consumption levels (p = 0.4).Conclusion: The absence of a clear association between knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards salt and actual salt consumption suggests that interventions focused on knowledge, attitudes and behaviours alone may be of limited efficacy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number47
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
    Volume11
    Issue number47
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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