Even as the Institute of Medicine has recommended new government strategies for reducing sodium intake, consumers are displaying a disconnect between their concern over the amount of sodium in their diets and actual food choices.
According to new research from the NPD Group, the number of Americans consuming low-sodium/sodium-free foods has steadily decreased over the past two decades. In contrast, the level of sodium concern, while still not as high as two decades ago, has risen in recent years, according to NPD's National Eating Trends report. "In my 30 years of observing Americans eating behaviors, there is often a gap between what consumers say and what they do," said 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." However, in a separate NPD food market research report, "A Look into the Future of Eating," the report projects that the number of individuals who feel "a person should be very cautious in serving foods with salt" will increase by 14 percent by 2018.