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World Action on Salt. Sugar & Health

New Report: Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium in the US


A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) has published updated intake recommendations for sodium and potassium. Adequate intakes for sodium remain at 1,500mg a day (equivalent 3.75g salt) and maximum intakes of 2,300mg a day for adults, reconfirming calls to reduce population sodium intakes to less than 2,300mg (equivalent to 5.75g salt) a day for adults, with a lower target for children.

The ‘Upper Limits’ for Sodium, now classified as ‘Chronic Disease Risk Reduction’ Intakes (CDRR), were based on current evidence and supported a correlation between reducing sodium levels and a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk, hypertension risk, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure. The report went on to add that the benefits of reducing overall sodium intakes toward the sodium CDRR should apply to all population groups.

WASH welcomes this report and encourages the food industry to take action and make significant reductions in salt on their food. Most US and Canadian populations consume salt levels well above the CDRR values, and with the majority of this salt coming from processed foods and food eaten out of the home, they clearly have an important role to play. The salt reduction programme in the UK, and indeed many other countries across the world, should serve a good example of how to reduce salt in processed foods, which contributes the most salt to our diets. We urge the Food and Drug Administration to now finalise its voluntary sodium reduction targets for processed and restaurant foods without further delay.

Mhairi Brown, Nutritionist at World Action on Salt & Health says “Many adults and most children eat more than the recommended level of salt. Our recent survey showed children's meals in the U.S. can contain more salt than the recommended daily maximum intake for an adult! The food industry must act now and take salt off the menu for children”

Sonia Pombo, Campaign Manager at Action on Salt adds “This report should now silence the sceptics and encourage the food industry and US government to get on with the task at hand and tackle salt reduction head on.”



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