FDA lowered voluntary sodium content guidelines, but did not drop to recommended levels

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The guidelines issued by the FDA deal with voluntary targets for food produced by food manufacturers, restaurants, and food service operators.

“The goal is to reduce the average sodium intake from approximately 3,400 milligrams (mg) per day to 3,000 milligrams, a reduction of approximately 12% in the next 2.5 years,” FDA Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock and FDA Center for Food Safety and Application Susan Mayne, director of nutrition, said in a statement.

“Although the average intake will still be higher than the recommended daily intake of 2,300 milligrams for people aged 14 years and over for Americans, we know that even these moderate reductions, which are slow in the next few years, will be greatly reduced with diet. Related intakes. Diseases make the overall population healthier and reduce the country’s health care costs.”

The American Heart Association also recommends no more than 2,300 mg per day, but the recommended “ideal limit” is 1,500 mg per day.

In 2016, the FDA issued a draft guideline suggesting a limit of 2,300 mg per day. The agency said it is cooperating with the food industry. “In the future, we plan to issue revised follow-up targets to gradually reduce sodium content to further help reduce sodium intake,” the FDA said.

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“Because the average American consumes too much sodium, even a 1,000 mg daily reduction can significantly improve blood pressure and heart health,” the Heart Association said on its sodium web page. According to the Heart Association, excessive salt intake can increase blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Heart Association stated that the FDA’s goal is an important step forward to help people reduce sodium intake, but it is not enough. It urges the FDA to take more actions to reduce the sodium content in the food supply.

“Reducing the sodium content in the food supply will reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, heart attack and death, and in addition can save billions of dollars in health care costs over the next ten years,” it said. “Many members of the food and catering industry have begun to reduce the sodium content in their products. We strongly encourage the entire industry to adopt these goals and build on existing efforts to reduce the sodium content in their products and diets.

According to the FDA, most people consume more sodium than recommended, and more than 95% of children aged 2 to 13 eat more sodium than recommended.

The new voluntary guidelines will target food manufacturers. According to the FDA, about 70% of the sodium people consume comes from pre-made or packaged foods, “which makes limiting sodium content challenging,” Woodcock and Mayne said.

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra said in a statement: “Every year hundreds of thousands of Americans die from chronic diseases related to malnutrition. It is estimated that the total economic cost per year is as high as 10,000. One hundred million U.S. dollars.” .

“The COVID-19 pandemic emphasizes the need to ensure that everyone has access to healthy and nutritious food. Improving the quality of food and nutrition is not only important to promote personal health outcomes-it is an important step in addressing widespread health disparities,” He said.

Sandee LaMotte of CNN contributed to this story.

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