The National Salt Reduction Initiative

American Heart Association comment:

Jan 11, 2010, 11:54 ET from American Heart Association

DALLAS, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Heart Association (AHA) applauds the efforts of New York City to work with the packaged and restaurant foods industry to reduce the amount of salt in the food supply. These efforts serve an important role in bringing both the public health community and food industry together to create solutions and help Americans live healthier lives.

The AHA is very concerned with the amount of salt Americans are consuming since sodium can have a detrimental effect on health, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease. Unfortunately, Americans eat about twice the recommended daily amount of sodium.

Only a small fraction of the sodium in our diets is added at the table as salt; almost 80% of it is added to packaged and restaurant foods. As a result, it is extremely difficult for individuals to limit sodium in their diet. The AHA would like to see food manufacturers and restaurants reduce the sodium added to foods by 50% over the next 10 years, for the benefit of public health. By reducing the amount of salt in packaged and restaurant foods, manufacturers could reduce the prevalence of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

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SOURCE American Heart Association