Thursday, June 2, 2016

DeLauro Statement on FDA’s New Sodium Guidelines

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today released the following statement regarding  the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s draft, voluntary guidance to industry that will help food manufacturers and restaurants meet short- and long-term sodium targets for a number of foods.

“Excess salt in our foods is leading to tens of thousands of preventable deaths each year and is costing Americans billions of dollars in healthcare costs. We must do everything we can to save lives and the FDA’s new guidance to industry on reducing sodium in processed and restaurant foods is a public health measure that will help us do just that,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “While the FDA’s action is a step forward to ensure the health of American families, I will continue to push the FDA to implement mandatory reductions. We cannot rely on voluntary actions by food manufacturers when one-in-three American adults suffers from high blood pressure and is at risk for heart disease.”

Americans consume on average nearly 3,500 mg of sodium (a teaspoon and a half) each day, with 75 percent of it coming from processed and restaurant foods. According to the U.S. government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Americans should consume just 2,300 mg of sodium (one teaspoon) each day, while the American Heart Association recommends even less, just 1,500 mg of sodium each day.

High sodium intake increases the risk of high blood pressure, which is directly linked to heart disease, the leading cause of death for Americans. FDA’s draft guidance could prevent tens of thousands of deaths each year and save billions of healthcare dollars. Research finds that if Americans reduced sodium intake by half a teaspoon a day, it could save between $10 billion and $24 billion annually.

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