CSPI Supports American Heart Association's Call for Lower Sodium Recommendation

New "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" Due Later This Month

January 13, 2011

WASHINGTON—The Center for Science in the Public Interest says that Americans should aim to consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day—far less than either the 2,300 mg recommended by the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, or the 4,000 mg of sodium that the average adult currently consumes. CSPI is supporting a new advisory from the American Heart Association, published in the journal Circulation, which calls on the “public, health professionals, the food industry, and the government to intensify efforts to reduce the amount of sodium (salt) Americans consume daily.”

“Without question, the amounts of salt used in packaged and restaurant foods make it the deadliest ingredient in the food supply, causing high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and kidney problems,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “We hope that the soon-to-be-released revision of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans reflects the scientific consensus that Americans are consuming too much salt. Even though reducing consumption to 2,300 milligrams—the target in the current Guidelines—would represent great progress, we urge the new Guidelines to provide the more desirable 1,500-mg target.”

As part of the AHA’s goal to reduce deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, the organization is recommending a population-wide reduction of sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg daily. In 2005, CSPI filed a regulatory petition with the Food and Drug Administration calling on the agency to regulate salt as a food additive, and set reasonable limits on the amounts that can be used in different categories of processed food.

The next version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, produced jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, is expected to be released later this month.


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