On Wednesday, the Obama administration took monumental steps in an effort to make the American population healthier by issuing new salt reduction goals for a variety of foods. These targets, although voluntary, would affect everyone from food manufacturers to restaurants, as they begin to feel the pressure to reduce their sodium use in over 150 categories of processed foods. The FDA has received support for their efforts from large food companies such as Nestle and Mars. A Mars representative stated that this change will “drive a broader dialogue within the food industry.”
However, some experts are questioning if there is enough scientific evidence to substantiate such large changes, and are unwilling to make these changes if they will need to be reversed in the future. Previously, advocacy groups and government officials determined that the amount of saturated fats in foods needed to be reduced, forcing manufacturers to use trans fats instead. However, the government later said that this was inaccurate, and that the transition to trans fats was actually more harmful.
With the average American consuming over 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, approximately 50 percent more than the recommended amount, it is time to begin a potentially lengthy process to reduce intake. “Many Americans want to reduce sodium in their diets, but that’s hard to do when much of it is in everyday products we buy in stores and restaurants,” said Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Development. The administration has argued that there is plenty of evidence to support the idea that Americans must lower their sodium intake in order to remain healthy and avoid health issues such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Read more here- “Obama takes aim at salt” (Helena Bottemiller Evich, Politico)