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The recommended daily intakes for sodium are based on moderately active people and do not apply to everyone.1 For example, individuals who participate in intense physical activity need more sodium because of losses through sweat. However, the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey — Nutrition did not ask respondents about their activity level, so differences in sodium consumption by level of physical activity could not be examined.
The amount of salt added at the table or during cooking is likely less than that reported by a US study, which found that all participants added salt at the table and when cooking.2 In addition, the study was conducted in the United States and may differ from the Canadian reality.
The estimated prevalence of hypertension for 2004 was based on self-reports of a diagnosed condition. Some people may have had hypertension but were not yet aware of it, so they would not have changed their salt consumption in response to a diagnosis of hypertension.
Although the salt content of recipes could not be adjusted based on how often salt was added to cooking, there was no difference by hypertension status in the frequency with which salt was added. Moreover, the proportion of sodium intake from salt added during cooking is relatively low,2 and only 15% of respondents reported never adding salt when cooking.