U.S. regulator proposes voluntary guidelines to reduce salt in foods
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday released proposed voluntary guidelines to encourage companies to steadily reduce salt in processed and restaurant foods.
Average sodium intake in the U.S. is about 3,400 mg per day, but the FDA now wanted to cut that level to abut 3,000 mg per day within two years, and reduce it within 10 years to 2,300 mg per day, as recommended by leading experts and the overwhelming body of scientific evidence.
"While a majority of Americans report watching or trying to reduce added salt in their diets, the deck has been stacked against them," the FDA said in a statement.
"The majority of sodium intake comes from processed and prepared foods, not the salt shaker."
The FDA said it wants to work with food companies and restaurants to gradually adjust sodium levels in food.
To achieve a significant impact, the FDA is especially encouraging adoption by big food manufacturers whose products make up a significant proportion of national sales in the United States.
The FDA estimated that less than 10 percent of packaged foods account for more than 80 percent of sales.
"Many Americans want to reduce sodium in their diets, but that's hard to do when much of it is in everyday products we buy in stores and restaurants," U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell said.
"Today's announcement is about putting power back in the hands of consumers, so that they can better control how much salt is in the food they eat and improve their health."
The FDA said it will provide 90 days for comment on the two-year short-term targets and 150 days for comment on the 10-year long-term targets.
One in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure, which has been linked to diets high in sodium and is a major risk factor cause of heart disease and stroke, according to the FDA.
Some studies have estimated lowering U.S. sodium intake by about 40 percent over the next decade could save 500,000 lives and nearly 100 billion U.S. dollars in healthcare costs. Enditem
- Editor:Albert | Source: Xinhuanet
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