New York (AP) — Food companies use salt after US regulators have released long-awaited guidelines aimed at lowering sodium levels in dozens of foods, including seasonings, cereals, french fries, and potato chips. We are under new pressure to reduce the amount.
The 163 food voluntary goals finalized on Wednesday are aimed at helping people reduce the amount of salt they eat. Most of the sodium in the US diet comes from packaged foods or restaurant foods, rather than the salt added to the home diet, making it difficult for people to make their own changes.
To get people accustomed to eating less salt, the Food and Drug Administration says reductions must be made in stages and throughout the food supply so that people do not continue to reach for higher sodium options. I did.
“Setting goals really helps level the competition across the industry,” said Susan Maine, director of the FDA’s Food Safety and Nutrition Division.
Over the next 2.5 years, the FDA’s target sodium level aims to reduce average intake by 12% from 3,400 milligrams to 3,000 milligrams per day. Nevertheless, the average intake of people over the age of 14 remains above the federal government’s recommended limit of 2,300 milligrams per day. However, authorities say they will continue to monitor industry progress and issue updated targets to bring levels closer to recommended limits over time.
The FDA said it has taken industry feedback into account after issuing the draft guidance in 2016. For example, ketchup, mustard, and hot sauce have been split and now have different goals. Another difference: The final guidance does not elaborate on the time frame for achieving long-term goals.
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the Faculty of Nutrition Science Policy at Tufts University, said:
Mosafarian said some food companies have resisted reducing their sodium targets, but have created more scientific support for federal guidance on sodium. In 2019, the US Academy of Sciences and Technology linked the recommended limits to reducing the risk of chronic illness. A recent study in China also found that people using salt substitutes had a lower incidence of stroke and major heart-related events than those using regular salt.
Whether the goal is effective in lowering sodium levels in the industry depends on how the FDA monitors progress and publicly communicates it, Mosafarian said.
In a statement, the National Restaurant Association provided feedback on the FDA’s draft guidance, stating that its member companies continue to offer options to meet customer demand.
According to the American Frozen Food Institute, member companies are already offering low-sodium options to meet consumer demand.
Guidance is voluntary, but companies may feel pressure to make changes to avoid stricter regulatory measures, said Dr. Peter Lurie, director of the Center for Public Interest Sciences.
“If it turns out that the impact isn’t what we want, I think it’s back on the drawing board, and there’s a compulsory reduction at the table,” he said.
The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.
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The FDA details the low sodium goals of the food industry | WGN Radio 720
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