sodium

New York Aims to Curb Sodium Intake

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Salt made the the front page of Monday’s New York Times.

Today, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled the National Salt Reduction Initiative, which aims to cut sodium intake by twenty-five per cent over the next five years, potentially preventing thousands of premature deaths.

High salt levels can raise blood pressure levels, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Americans eat an average of 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily, though the amount recommended by the American Heart Association is 2,300 milligrams. Since a reported 80% of sodium is already in the food when consumers purchase it, food companies are being encouraged to lower the amount of sodium in their products.

I don’t personally have a problem with this campaign, though I can understand if someone were to say it makes Bloomberg seem like one of those hovering mothers who tells their kids’ friends’ parents not to give them junk food at sleepovers (I had a friend growing up whose mom used to brag that her kids had never tasted butter—yikes). While I’d also like to see some kind of health information campaign about what sodium is and why people shouldn’t eat too much of it, I’m curious to see how this goes.

Now if only the mayor could do something about neighbors having dance parties on Monday nights…