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Will FDA Guidelines Reduce Sodium Intake?

New FDA guidelines aim to reduce U.S. salt intake. Will it work?

Hourglass with salt measuring sodium intake

In a bid to help reduce the average American sodium intake by 12% over the next 2 1/2 years, as well as to reduce the rate of heart disease in the country, the Food and Drug Administration has released new guidelines asking chain restaurants, food manufacturers and food service operators to voluntarily reduce sodium levels in 163 categories of the most-consumed processed, packaged and prepared foods. This includes packaged meats, bagged chips, nut mixes and fast-food burger combos.

The majority of sodium consumed in America comes from these foods, not from table salt added to food when cooking or eating. Through this voluntary sodium scale-back, the agency wants to cut sodium intake to an average of 3,000 milligrams per day from today’s 3,400 mg, an average intake that would still be above the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommended limit of 2,300 mg per day for anyone over 14 years of age.

Will these nonbinding guidelines set out by the FDA work to reduce salt levels in everyday American food? Should we instead focus on getting Americans to simply eat less of these highly processed foods? Are you concerned that most Americans are eating too much salt? Are the dangers of sodium in the food supply overblown?

Send your answers to Sandy Todd Webster at [email protected]

See also: Does Sodium Intake Concern You?

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