Intended for healthcare professionals


US seeks to reduce sodium consumption by one third

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 03 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3144
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. Seattle

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released draft guidance for the food industry that agency officials say could reduce the daily average intake of sodium in the US by a third.1 The voluntary guidelines apply to processed and packaged foods as well as restaurant foods and would be implemented over a decade.

Currently, the average sodium intake in the United States is 3400 mg/day, most of which comes from processed and prepared foods, not the salt shaker, FDA officials noted. If the proposed guidelines are adopted by the food industry, officials said, it will be possible to reduce US consumption of sodium gradually over 10 years to 2300 mg/day, an amount in line with current federal recommendations for the general …

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