The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report revealed that only 9.6 per cent of adults kept their daily sodium intake below the recommended government guidelines.
They were found to consume too much salt by eating pizza, crisps and other foods with high sodium levels, all of which contribute to a raised heart attack and stroke risk.
If adults were to reduce their salt intake by around half a teaspoon every day, new cases of heart disease could be cut by as many as 120,000 and there could be 66,000 fewer strokes, the report found.
“Sodium has become so pervasive in our food supply that it’s difficult for the vast majority of Americans to stay within recommended limits,” said Janelle Peralez Gunn, leader of the study and a public health analyst with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A UK report from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence released this week claims that up to 40,000 people in the country could be saved each year if food manufacturers reduced the levels of salt and saturated fat in their products.