Nutrition Label Use and Sodium Intake in the U.S.

Donglan Zhang, Yan Li, Guijing Wang, Andrew E. Moran, José A. Pagán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction High sodium intake is a major risk factor for hypertension, but evidence is limited on which interventions are effective in reducing sodium consumption. This study examined the associations between frequent use of nutrition labels and daily sodium intake and the consumption of high-sodium foods in the U.S. Methods Using the 2007–2008 and 2009–2010 Flexible Consumer Behavior Survey, this study compared sodium intake measured from the 24-hour dietary recalls, availability of salty snacks at home, and frequencies of eating frozen meals/pizzas between frequent (i.e., always or most of the time) and infrequent nutrition label users. Also, the study examined the association between nutrition label use and sodium-related dietary behaviors across different demographic and socioeconomic groups. Data were analyzed in 2016. Results Frequent users of nutrition labels consumed 92.79 mg less sodium per day (95% CI= −160.21, −25.37), were less likely to always or most of the time have salty snacks available at home (OR=0.86, 95% CI=0.76, 0.97), but were just as likely to eat frozen meals or pizzas (incidence rate ratio=0.96, 95% CI=0.84, 1.08) compared with infrequent label users. The associations between nutrition label use and sodium intake differed considerably across age, gender, and socioeconomic groups. Conclusions Frequent use of nutrition labels appears to be associated with lower consumption of sodium and high-sodium foods in the U.S. Given this small reduction, interventions such as enhancing nutrition label use could be less effective if implemented without other strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S220-S227
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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