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How industry is stepping up sodium reduction efforts

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With Americans experiencing an increased risk for high blood pressure and heart disease, food and beverage companies are stepping up to face the challenge in reducing sodium levels within their products.

Americans consume too much salt (and sodium by default), putting them at an increased risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. These risk factors have prompted medical professionals and regulatory entities to lobby the food and beverage industry to reduce sodium across the food supply to decrease the negative health effects of high-sodium diets.

The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates the average U.S. adult consumes approximately 3,400 mg of sodium per day, far more than the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) recommendation of 2,300 mg of sodium per day as part of a healthy eating pattern.

While sodium is found naturally in a variety of foods such as milk, meat and shellfish, most dietary sodium is found in processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants. According to CDC, estimated more than 40% of sodium intake comes from 10 types of foods—breads and rolls, pizza, sandwiches, cold cuts and cured meat, soups, burritos and tacos, savory snacks, chicken, cheese, and eggs and omelets.

Many food and beverage companies have stepped up to the challenge to reduce sodium levels in their products. According to 2019 data from The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), more than 320,000 consumer goods products have been reformulated since 2015. Moreover, 98% of companies reported reformulating at least some part of their product portfolio to align with health and wellness policies, and 70% of companies reported reformulating salt and sugar in their products. The data is part of the 5th annual CGF Health & Wellness Progress Report, developed in conjunction with Deloitte, which details how its members are working together to empower consumers and employees around the world to live healthier lives.

To read this article in full, check out the "Sugar and sodium reduction strategies" digital magazine. 

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