Increased dietary sodium intake is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The monitoring of population sodium intake is a key part of any salt reduction intervention. However, the extent and methods used for as-sessment of sodium intake in Southeast Asia is currently unclear. This paper provides a narrative synthesis of the best available evidence regarding levels of sodium intake in six Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and describes salt reduction measures being undertaken in these countries. Electronic databases were screened to identify relevant articles for inclusion up to 29 February 2012. Reference lists of included studies and conference proceedings were also examined. Local experts and researchers in nutrition and public health were consulted. Quality of studies was assessed using a modified version of the Downs and Black Checklist. Twenty-five studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. Full texts of 19 studies including government reports were retrieved, with most studies being of good quality. In-sufficient evidence exists regarding salt intakes in Southeast Asia. Dietary data suggest that sodium intake in most SEA countries exceeded the WHO recommendation of 2 g/day. Studies are needed that estimate sodium intake using the gold standard 24-hour urinary sodium excretion. The greatest proportion of dietary sodium came from added salt and sauces. Data on children were limited. The six countries had salt reduction initiatives that differed in specificity and extent, with greater emphasis on consumer education.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.