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Viewpoint
August 9, 2016

Sodium Reduction—Saving Lives by Putting Choice Into Consumers’ Hands

Author Affiliations
  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
JAMA. 2016;316(6):579-580. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.7992

Although sodium reduction has been proposed as a public health strategy in the United States for more than 4 decades, there has been no progress reducing consumption. One reason for this lack of progress is the continued ubiquity of dietary sodium in the US food supply. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released draft proposed voluntary guidelines1 to encourage companies to steadily reduce sodium in processed and restaurant foods, a change that would increase consumers’ control over their sodium intake. The proposed guidelines set targets for the gradual reduction in sodium across a range of food categories for both manufactured and restaurant products and would lead to a sustained reduction in the amount of sodium added to the food supply before foods reach consumers’ hands. This Viewpoint provides answers, based on the best available science, to important questions about why this action is needed.

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