To determine the relationships of sodium intake with adiposity and inflammation in healthy adolescents.


A cross-sectional study involved 766 healthy white and African American adolescents aged 14 to 18 years. Dietary sodium intake was estimated by 7-day 24-hour dietary recall. Percent body fat was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue and visceral adipose tissue were assessed using magnetic resonance imaging. Fasting blood samples were measured for leptin, adiponectin, C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor-α, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1.


The average sodium intake was 3280 mg/day. Ninety-seven percent of our adolescents exceeded the American Heart Association recommendation for sodium intake. Multiple linear regressions revealed that dietary sodium intake was independently associated with body weight (β = 0.23), BMI (β = 0.23), waist circumference (β = 0.23), percent body fat (β = 0.17), fat mass (β = 0.23), subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (β = 0.25), leptin (β = 0.20), and tumor necrosis factor-α (β = 0.61; all Ps < .05). No relation was found between dietary sodium intake and visceral adipose tissue, skinfold thickness, adiponectin, C-reactive protein, or intercellular adhesion molecule-1. All the significant associations persisted after correction for multiple testing (all false discovery rates < 0.05).


The mean sodium consumption of our adolescents is as high as that of adults and more than twice the daily intake recommended by the American Heart Association. High sodium intake is positively associated with adiposity and inflammation independent of total energy intake and sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption.

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