FDA releases new salt guidance aimed at reducing levels

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Americans consume 50% more sodium than recommended

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday issued final guidance for the food industry to voluntarily reduce sodium in processed, packaged and prepared foods.

The agency aims to cut average sodium intake by 12% — 3,400 to 3,000 milligrams per day — over the next two and a half years.

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“Although the average intake would still be above Dietary Guidelines for Americans With the recommended limit of 2,300 milligrams per day for people age 14 and older, we know that these modest reductions made gradually over the next few years will significantly reduce diet-related illnesses.” said in a news release.

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NS guidelines It aims to reduce sodium levels in 163 subcategories of foods.

Susan T., director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Mayne and FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock said Wednesday media call That the agency will make more cuts in the future.

The FDA said it expects the initiative to become “one of the most important public health nutrition interventions in a generation”, noting that the US is “a growing epidemic of preventable, diet-related conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity”. is facing.

Limiting sodium in the diet plays an important role in preventing diseases such as high blood pressure and heart disease, which disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority groups, resulting in hundreds of thousands of lives and billions in costs annually. Huh.

The COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA said, has exacerbated these health disparities, and research shows Americans consume 50% more sodium than recommended.

What’s more, 95% of children ages 2 to 13 exceed the recommended limits of sodium for their age groups, and most of the sodium in the American diet comes from packaged, processed, and restaurant foods, making sodium limiting difficult. it happens.

The FDA notes that sodium is added to these foods to control microbial growth as well as improve taste and texture. The agency said people “usually don’t notice a small reduction” of about 10% in sodium, and the taste buds gradually get used to the change. accompanying FAQ page.

change from final guidelines“Voluntary sodium reduction targets: target mean and upper bound concentrations for sodium in commercially processed, packaged and prepared foods,” will make it easier to reach low-sodium options and reduce intake.

The artificial sweetener in soda, other drinks may increase food cravings, appetite in women and obese people.

The FDA urged that the food industry work to meet short-term targets as soon as possible and said the agency would continue to interact with industry members as the sodium content of the food supply is monitored to evaluate progress.

The agency will work closely with other groups, such as the US Department of Agriculture and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The FDA explained that recommendations to reduce sodium content were first proposed in 2016. draft guidance And that many companies have already changed the sodium content in their products.

However, additional support is needed in all types of food to help consumers, and according to the FDA, an iterative approach with gradual reductions has been effective in other countries.

Consumers are advised to read food labels, ask for nutritional information at chain restaurants, choose low-sodium options, and talk to their health care providers about healthy foods.

The FDA said its guidance could have a “profound impact” on the health of millions of people.

“The FDA is committed to playing its part with the tools we have available to help create a healthy food supply, promote healthy habits early, and empower consumers to make healthier food choices. steps have been taken. close to zero “Further work is to use the action plan and similar iterative process to reduce the exposure to toxic ingredients in foods commonly consumed by infants and young children to the lowest possible level,” the agency said. “Many of our federal, state and local partners also have initiatives underway that support sodium reduction and help people achieve healthier eating patterns overall. If we act together , then we can have a profound impact on the health of millions of people.”

Associated Press reported That the National Restaurant Association said it has provided feedback to the FDA’s draft guidance and that its member companies continue to provide options that meet customer demand.

In addition, the outlet noted that the American Frozen Food Institute said that member companies are already offering low-sodium options to meet consumer demand.

Too much sodium can raise blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.


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