Public Health & Policy / FDA General

FDA Nudges Restaurants, Food Manufacturers to Cut Sodium

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Voluntary guidance aims to reduce Americans' sodium intake by 12%
On Wednesday morning, the FDA issued new guidance urging food manufacturers and restaurants to voluntarily reduce the amount of sodium in processed, packaged, and prepared foods by 12% over the the next 2 and a half years.

The nation is battling an epidemic of chronic diet-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD.

Americans consume over 50% more sodium than the recommended limit, said Susan Mayne, PhD, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

"This includes our youngest and most vulnerable populations, with more than 95% of children aged 2 to 13 years old exceeding recommended limits for sodium for their age group," which has "profound impacts" on children's health later in life, Mayne said.

Increased sodium can also cause high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra noted.

"The guidance we're issuing today seeks to directly address these problems head on by providing voluntary short-term sodium-reduction targets for food manufacturers, restaurants, and food service operators for 163 categories of processed packaged or prepared foods," said Woodcock.

Voluntary sodium-reduction targets include everything from cottage cheese to sauerkraut to…
Shannon Firth
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