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Sodium reduction in New Zealand requires major behaviour change

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posted on 20.08.2020, 05:14 by C Lofthouse, Lisa Te Morenga, R McLean
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd This pilot study examined the feasibility of adherence to a low sodium diet in a sample of healthy New Zealand adults. It also addressed whether following a low sodium diet was accompanied by changes in intakes of other nutrients that influence cardiovascular risk. Eleven healthy adults provided dietary intake data and a 24-hour urine collection at baseline and follow-up. They then received nutritional counselling based on the World Health Organization recommendation for sodium intake (<2000 mg/day) and received ongoing nutritional support while undertaking a low sodium diet for four weeks. At the end of the four-week period, participants completed a semi-structured interview that elicited participants’ opinions on barriers and facilitators to following a low sodium diet and explored changes in participants’ dietary habits and behaviours. Thematic analysis revealed that adherence to a low sodium diet required substantial changes to participants’ usual food purchasing and preparation habits. Participants reported that lack of control over the sodium content of meals eaten away from the home, the complex and time-consuming nature of interpreting nutrition information labels, and difficulty identifying suitable snacks were barriers to adherence. Detailed meal planning and cooking from scratch, using flavour replacements, reading food labels to identify low sodium foods, receiving support from other people and receiving tailored nutrition advice were facilitators. Mean sodium intake reduced over the period, accompanied by a decrease in mean intake of total fat. These factors suggest that sodium reduction in New Zealand adults was feasible. However, considerable changes to eating behaviours were required.


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Lofthouse, C., Te Morenga, L. & McLean, R. (2016). Sodium reduction in New Zealand requires major behaviour change. Appetite, 105, 721-730.

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Elsevier BV

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