FDA Aims to Drastically Reduce Salt in Nation’s Food Supply

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked food-producing companies to cut sodium levels in their products by 12% over the next 30 months to help combat cardiovascular diseases.
In an FDA statement, the agency announced the voluntary initiative to help lessen the burden of disease. The initiative is part of an FDA plan to gradually lower the sodium intake of Americans.
According to the FDA, Americans, on average, consume 3,400 milligrams of salt each day, while the average recommended daily intake is 2,300. A drop of 12% would still see an average American consume 3,000 milligrams of sodium daily.
“Limiting certain nutrients, such as sodium, in our diets plays a crucial role in preventing diseases like hypertension and cardiovascular disease,” the statement reads.
An elevated intake of sodium in healthy adults with well-balanced diets has not been shown to increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. However, elevated sodium intake in individuals who already have hypertension (high blood pressure) can exacerbate problems associated with high blood pressure, such as heart disease and stroke.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47% of American adults have high blood pressure, and of that group, only 24% have it under control. The FDA has found that “these diseases often result in hundreds of thousands of lives lost and billions in annual health care costs.”
The reason the FDA is targeting food-producing companies is that 70% of Americans’ sodium intake comes from packaged, processed, and restaurant foods. By targeting food producers, the FDA aims to lower America’s sodium intake and lessen the loss of human life from cardiovascular-related diseases.
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