Consumer Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Sodium Intake and Reduction Strategies in Los Angeles County
Results of an Internet Panel Survey (2014-2015)
Background and Purpose: In Los Angeles County, over 27% of the population has been diagnosed with hypertension and over 60% is considered overweight or obese. To help address the burden of hypertension and other diet-associated diseases, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health launched its sodium reduction initiative to scale sodium reduction approaches and, ultimately, reduce sodium intake in the region. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of consumer knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to sodium consumption and reduction to inform ongoing program efforts. Methods: A cross-sectional Internet panel survey was administered from December 2014 to January 2015 to a panel of Los Angeles County adult residents (n=848). Results: Results suggest low levels of consumer knowledge of recommended daily sodium intake limits (5.9%), high levels of support for reduction of sodium in the food supply (>70%), and moderate levels of healthy behavior change (e.g., 48.1% reported determining their food purchases based on the sodium content, 56.3% reported watching their sodium intake). Conclusions: These findings support the continued need to work at multiple levels (consumer, food supplier/manufacturer, retail) to reduce sodium intake in Los Angeles County.