Koreans are eating less salt for the first time in four years. According to a survey of 10,000 people across the country released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, the daily average sodium intake stood at 4,791 mg, or 12 g of salt, slightly down from a year earlier.
Sodium intake steadily increased from 2007 until 2010, and is still over twice the 2,000 mg daily level recommended by the World Health Organization.
Men in their 30s and 40s, who often eat out during quasi-obligatory work gatherings, ate especially large quantities of salt. Their daily average sodium intake reached 6,808 mg, 3.4 times the WHO-recommended amount. Half of that came from eating out.
Koreans got the most sodium from kimchi and instant noodles.
"People take in 53 percent of sodium at home and around one-third when eating out at restaurants," said an official with the KCDC. "Sodium intake from eating out increased to 36.1 percent this year from 29 percent in 2008, so people need to try and eat less salty food when they're eating out."
Meanwhile, one in three adults over 30 was obese, one in four had high blood pressure, and one in 10 suffered from diabetes. Obesity, hypertension and diabetes have been increasing since 2008.