• 1 Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • 2 Ministry of Health
Int J Public Health Res, 2017;7(2):860-870.


Introduction The most effective and affordable public health strategy to prevent
hypertension, stroke and renal disease is by reducing daily salt consumption.
Therefore, this study aims to determine the association of knowledge, attitude
and practice on salt diet intake and to identify foods contributing to high
sodium intake.
Methods Secondary data analysis was performed on MySalt 2016 data. It was
conducted from November 2015 until January 2016 which involving Ministry
of Health Staff worked at 16 study sites in Malaysia. Salt intake was
measured using 24 hours urinary sodium excretion. Food frequency
questionnaire was used to determine the sodium sources. Knowledge, attitude
and practice of salt intake were assessed using a validated questionnaire
adapted from WHO. Demographic data and anthropometric measures also
were collected. Sodium levels of more than 2400mg/day was categorised as
high sodium intake. Data were analysed using SPSS software version 21.
Results The mean sodium intake estimated by 24 hours urinary sodium excretion was
2853.23 + 1275.8 mg/day. Food groups namely rice/noodles (33.8%),
sauces/seasoning (20.6%), meat and poultry (12.6%) and fish/seafoods
(9.3%) were the major contributors of dietary sodium. In multiple logistic
regression analysis, being a male (aOR=2.83, 95% CI 2.02 – 3.96) and obese
(aOR=6.78, 95% CI 1.98 – 23.18) were significantly associated with high
urinary sodium excretions. In addition, those who were unsure that high salt
intake can cause hypertension (aOR=1.24, 95% CI 0.65 – 2.36), those who
think that they consumed too much salt (aOR=2.10, 95% CI 1.13 – 3.87) and
those who only use salt rather than other spices for cooking (aOR=2.07, 95%
CI 1.29 – 3.30) were significantly associated with high urinary sodium
Conclusions This study showed that the main sources of sodium among Malay healthcare
staff is cooked food. Poor knowledge and practice towards reducing salt
consumption among them contributes to the high sodium consumption. The
practice of healthy eating among them together with continuous awareness
campaign is essential in order to educate them to minimize sodium
consumption and to practice healthy eating.