UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Clinical and Population Health Research Doctoral Program

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Preventive Medicine


BACKGROUND: Dietary guidelines suggest limiting daily sodium intake to

METHODS: Two hundred forty participants with metabolic syndrome enrolled in a dietary intervention trial to lose weight and improve dietary quality. Three 24-hour dietary recalls were collected at each visit which provided meal patterns and nutrient data, including sodium intake. A secondary data analysis was conducted to examine sodium consumption patterns at baseline and at one-year study visits. Sodium consumption patterns over time were examined using linear mixed models.

RESULTS: The percentage of meals reported eaten in the home at both baseline and one-year follow-up was approximately 69%. Follow-up for the one-year dietary intervention revealed that the participants who consumed sodium greater than 2,300 mg/d declined from 75% (at baseline) to 59%, and those that consumed higher than 1,500 mg/d declined from 96% (at baseline) to 85%. Average sodium intake decreased from 2,994 mg at baseline to 2,558 mg at one-year (P < 0.001), and the sodium potassium ratio also decreased from 1.211 to 1.047 (P < 0.001). Sodium intake per meal varied significantly by meal type, location, and weekday, with higher intake at dinner, in restaurants, and on weekends. At-home lunch and dinner sodium intake decreased (P < 0.05), while dinner sodium intake at restaurant/fast food chains increased from baseline to one-year (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Sodium intake for the majority of participants exceeded the recommended dietary guidelines. Findings support actions that encourage low-sodium food preparation at home and encourage public health policies that decrease sodium in restaurants and prepared foods.


UMCCTS funding

Rights and Permissions

Copyright 2013 Wang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Wang J, Olendzki BC, Wedick NM, Persuitte GM, Culver AL, Li W, Merriam PA, Carmody J, Fang H, Zhang Z, Olendzki GF, Zheng L, Ma Y. Challenges in sodium intake reduction and meal consumption patterns among participants with metabolic syndrome in a dietary trial. Nutr J. 2013 Dec 18;12:163. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-163. Link to article on publisher's site


Gioia Persuitte is a student in the Clinical and Population Health Research Doctoral Program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at UMass Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Nutrition journal

PubMed ID