The Food and Drug Administration is asked the food industry to lower the level of salt in their products voluntarily, citing a ‘rising epidemic of preventable, diet-related diseases’ in updated recommendations released on Wednesday. Over the next two and a half years, the revised recommendations aim to reduce the nation’s average sodium consumption by 12 percent.
In a statement, the FDA said that limiting some nutrients, such as sodium, in diets plays a key role in avoiding disorders like hypertension and cardiovascular disease, which disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority groups. These diseases frequently result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in annual health-care costs, FDA added.
According to the FDA, Americans consume about 3,400 mg of sodium per day on average, which is nearly 1,000 milligrams higher than the level advised for people aged 14 and up. Packaged, processed, and restaurant foods account for over 70 percent of sodium intake.
The revised recommendations aim to cut daily salt consumption from 3,400 milligrams to 3,000 milligrams, which is still higher than health professionals would recommend.