Nutr Res Pract.  2021 Jun;15(3):382-395. 10.4162/nrp.2021.15.3.382.

Trends in sodium intake and major contributing food groups and dishes in Korea: the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2013–2017

  • 1Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Korea
  • 2K Bridge Insight Co., Ltd., Seoul 06786, Korea
  • 3Department of Food and Nutrition, Kunsan National University, Gunsan 54150, Korea


Excess intake of dietary sodium, either directly or indirectly, increases the risk of several diseases, including cardio-cerebral vascular diseases such as stroke and hypertension. Excessive sodium intake and increased prevalence of hypertension have emerged as major issues worldwide. Therefore, the present study evaluated the recent trends in dietary sodium intake and the food sources of sodium intake in the Korean population using the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES, 2013–2017) data.
This study used the one-day 24-h recall dietary intake survey data from the 2013–2017 KNHANES to determine the average daily sodium intake by sex and age and the main dishes and food groups contributing to the dietary sodium intake.
The mean sodium intake range was 3,477.2–3,889.6 mg/day during 2013–2017. The major food groups contributing to sodium intake were seasonings (1,597.5–1,870.5 mg/day), vegetables (680.4–756.7 mg/day), and cereal and grains (573.2–609.4 mg/day). Noodles and dumplings (536.7–573.2 mg/day), kimchi (487.3–539.6 mg/day), and soups (367.6–428.9 mg/day) were the top three dish groups that contributed to the sodium intake. In these dishes, the major sources of sodium intake were ramyeon (age groups 10–18 and 19–29 yrs), baechukimchi (age groups 40–49 and 50–59 yrs) and doenjang-kuk (age groups 60–69 and ≥ 70 yrs), respectively.
In summary, reducing the consumption of soups and kimchi is an effective way to reduce sodium intake. Personalized nutrition education on dietary sodium intake management is required because of the different food sources contributing to the sodium intake according to the subjects' age.


Sodium; food; Korea; cardiovascular diseases; hypertension
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