FDA guidance aims to reduce sodium consumption

BY Tracey B. Scarpello

Research indicates that 70% of the average American's total sodium intake comes from sodium added during food manufacturing and commercial food preparation. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidance calling for food manufacturers, chain restaurants, and food service operators to voluntarily reduce the amount of sodium in the processed, packaged, and prepared foods they produce. The targets in the guidance seek to decrease average sodium intake from approximately 3,400 milligrams to 3,000 milligrams per day, which is about a 12% reduction over the next 2.5 years. The FDA stated that these guidelines are the first step in a multi-year campaign to gradually lower the nation's sodium intake to closely align with current dietary guidelines—suggesting individuals consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (or 1 teaspoon) of sodium per day. The FDA urged the food industry to meet short-term goals as soon as possible. Further, the agency said it would continue a dialogue with industry members as it monitors the sodium content of the food supply to evaluate progress, noting that similar "voluntary and gradual approaches" have been successful in Canada and the U.K. We will continue to monitor the impact of this guidance on the FBA industry.

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Tracey B. Scarpello


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