Salt intake and dietary sources of salt on weekdays and weekend days in Australian adults Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractObjectiveTo 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.DesignA cross-sectional study of adults who provided one 24 h urine collection and one telephone-administered 24 h dietary recall.SettingCommunity-dwelling adults living in the State of Victoria, Australia.SubjectsAdults (n 598) who participated in a health survey (53·5 % women; mean age 57·1 (95 % CI 56·2, 58·1) years).ResultsMean (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.ConclusionsMean 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.


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

publication date

  • 2018