Salty Snacks Sinking Along A Predictable Rich-Poor Divide

❝ Consumers are buying less salty packaged food, although still too much by some standards, according to a longitudinal study of more than 170,000 households that used barcode scanners to record all packaged food purchases for a year as part of the Nielsen Homescan Consumer Panel.

❝ Total sodium from packaged food purchases decreased significantly between 2000 and 2014 (by 396 mg/d per capita). Sodium content of packaged foods also dropped overall by 12% over that 15-year period, which extended to all of the most salty foods, particularly condiments, sauces, and dips.

Still, the researchers noted in the paper in JAMA Internal Medicine that there is room for further reduction as more than 98% of households had packaged food purchases containing more than “optimal” levels of sodium…

❝ Two analyses in JAMA Cardiology of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from the past 10 and 15 years, respectively, showed that income still matters for cardiovascular risk factors.

One showed that predicted cardiovascular event risk, smoking rates, and blood pressure improved in high-income groups but not among people at or below the federal poverty level. The other showed persistent gaps between the lowest and highest income groups for diabetes, dyslipidemia, and obesity as well as a widening gap in prevalence of hypertension and in smoking.

Anyone surprised when cultural and income differences reinforce poor choices?

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