CHICAGO — Consumers are paying more attention to their sodium intake, according to Mintel International. Recent data from the research firm showed consumers are starting to pay more attention to their intake, with 52% saying they are monitoring the amount of sodium in their diets.

In addition, food product introductions containing a low, no or reduced sodium claim have increased by nearly 115% from 2005 to 2008, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database. Consumer awareness and the continued push from public health organizations and consumer advocacy groups suggest that the low-sodium change is gaining momentum.

The survey by Mintel showed how consumers are responding to the news about sodium’s impact on health as well as the new product introductions:

• 22% said they restrict the amount of salt that they add to food, but don’t watch the much greater amount of sodium that is in foods and beverages.

• 18% said "food and beverages low in sodium are one of the three most important components of a healthy diet."

• 26% read labels for sodium, and may make some decisions based on the information, but they are not following a regimen to control sodium in their diet.

• 34% do not pay attention to sodium.