Many Salt-aholics Live in State of Denial

April 27, 2010
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When it comes to getting Americans to cut back on the amount of salt they consume, The NPD Group reports that there is a gap between consumers’ concerns about the amount of sodium in their diets and their consumption of low-sodium and sodium-free foods.

Who’s kidding who? Although there are more low-sodium products on the shelf than ever before, Americans aren’t practicing what they preach. When it comes to getting Americans to cut back on the amount of salt they consume, The NPD Group reports that there is a gap between consumers’ concerns about the amount of sodium in their diets and their consumption of low-sodium and sodium-free foods.

The gap exists despite efforts by food manufacturers. That’s why health organizations and governments have turned their attention to helping Americans reduce the amount of sodium in their diets, according to the Chicago-based market research firm.

NPD notes that concern over sodium consumption has risen in recent years, but it isn’t as high as two decades ago. Moreover, the number of Americans consuming low-sodium/sodium-free foods has steadily decreased, according to NPD’s National Eating Trends survey, which has continually tracked Americans’ eating behaviors for the last 30 years.

“In my 30 years of observing Americans’ eating behaviors, there is often a gap between what consumers say and what they do,” says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group and author of Eating Patterns in America. “It’s easier to aspire to a positive behavior than to actually do it.”

According to a separate NPD food market research report, a greater number of consumers are getting the message. The projected number of individuals who feel  “a person should be very cautious in serving foods with salt” is forecasted to increase by 14% by 2018, NPD reports.

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