Posted on Nov 29, 2014, 11 a.m.
Sandwiches are a significant contributor to daily energy and sodium intake.
Nearly half of American adults eat sandwiches on a daily basis. However, they are not necessarily a healthy option. Indeed, new research has shown that they account for one-fifth of total daily sodium intake. Nutritionist Rhonda Sebastian, MA, and colleagues at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) analysed data from the What We Eat in America NHANES 2009-2010 study. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a maximum intake of 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. For certain groups – adults over 50, African-Americans, and those with certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease - the recommended amount is reduced to 1,500 milligrams per day. The study results revealed that, for adults, sandwiches alone contribute 30% of the less restrictive guideline and 46% of the stricter guideline. Results also showed that people who ate sandwiches had significantly higher energy intakes than those who did not. Those who consumed a sandwich on the survey day took in, on average, around 300 kilocalories more than those who did not report eating a sandwich. Sandwich reporters also had higher total sodium intakes, averaging around 600 milligrams per day higher than sandwich non-reporters. "Though much national attention is appropriately focused on reducing sodium in the food supply, consumer choices still play a vital role," concluded study co-author Celia Wilkinson Enns, MS, RD. "Due to sandwiches' frequent consumption and considerable contributions to sodium intake, substituting lower-sodium for higher-sodium ingredients in sandwiches could significantly impact sodium intakes."
Sebastian RS, Wilkinson Enns C, Goldman JD, Hoy MK, Moshfegh AJ. Sandwiches are major contributors of sodium in the diets of American adults: results from what we eat in America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2010. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014, October 6. [Epub ahead of print].