The guidelines issued by the FDA relate to voluntary targets for foods produced by food manufacturers, restaurants and food service operators.
“The goals are to reduce the average sodium intake from about 3,400 milligrams (mg) to 3,000 mg per day, or a reduction of about 12%, over the next 2.5 years,” said the Acting FDA Commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock, and the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Director of Nutrition, Susan Mayne, said in a statement.
“While the average intake is still above the limit recommended by the dietary guidelines for Americans of 2,300 mg per day for those 14 years and older, we know that even these modest reductions made slowly over the next few years will dramatically reduce food-related illnesses, a healthier population overall and reducing the burden of health care costs in this country. “
The American Heart Association also recommends not to exceed 2300 mg per day, but recommends an “ideal limit” of 1500 mg per day.
In 2016, the FDA released draft guidelines suggesting a limit of 2,300 mg per day. The agency said it was working with the food industry. “In the future, we plan to publish revised and subsequent goals to gradually reduce sodium content to further reduce sodium intake,” the FDA said.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Heart Association said the FDA’s targets are an important step forward that will help people reduce sodium intake, but not enough. He urged the FDA to take more action to lower sodium levels in the food supply.
“Lowering sodium levels in the food supply would reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, heart attack and death, in addition to saving billions of dollars in health care costs. health over the next decade, ”he said. “Many in the food and restaurant industry have started reducing sodium in their products. We strongly encourage the industry as a whole to embrace these goals and build on existing efforts to reduce sodium in their products and meals.
According to the FDA, most people eat more sodium than recommended, and over 95% of children between the ages of two and 13 eat more sodium than recommended.
The new voluntary guidelines will be aimed at food manufacturers. According to the FDA, about 70% of the sodium people eat comes from pre-made or packaged foods, “which makes it difficult to limit sodium,” Woodcock and Mayne said.
“Hundreds of thousands of Americans die each year from chronic diseases linked to poor nutrition, and by some estimates the total economic costs are one trillion dollars per year,” said the secretary of the US Department of Health. Health and Social Services, Xavier Becerra, in a statement. .
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to ensure everyone has access to safe and nutritious food. ” he said.
CNN’s Sandee LaMotte contributed to this story.
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