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Editor's Correspondence
Mar 11, 2013

Hospital Salt

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Vice President, Science and Research, Salt Institute, Alexandria, Virginia.

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(5):391-392. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.2161

The authors of the article titled “Evaluation of Sodium Levels in Hospital Patient Menus”1 maintain that the amount of sodium in commonly prescribed hospital patient menus is not in agreement with established sodium recommendations. This should not be a surprise, as the recommended levels do not result in palatable foods for most people.

Reducing salt in meals to the recommended levels is not rocket science—it is as simple as leaving the salt out of the formulations. Since patients are effectively a captive market, they could be treated as any others without a free choice. Whether to allow them access to a saltshaker to make up for the loss in palatability is another matter to consider.