The goal is to be achieved in a 10 years long term. Americans consume almost 50 percent more sodium than what most experts recommend and as a consequence one in three individuals has high blood pressure, a major risk factor cause of heart disease and stroke. However, the majority of sodium intake comes from processed and prepared foods, not from the salt shaker at home. In some studies, researchers have estimated lowering U.S. sodium intake by about 40 percent over the next decade could save 500,000 lives and nearly $100 billion in healthcare costs.)
“The totality of the scientific evidence supports sodium reduction from current intake levels,” said Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. The FDA has proposed a national, practical, gradual, and voluntary approach to sodium reduction sharing the plan as a draft for public comment. Food companies won’t be required to comply. Wednesday was the deadline for the agency to respond to the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s more than decade-old petition asking the FDA to crack down on sodium in food.