The United States has set a new lower salt target for the food industry.
On Wednesday, US health officials unveiled a fresh drive to get the food industry to reduce the amount of salt in its goods, a critical public health issue in a country where half of the population has hypertension.
By early 2024, the optional guidelines call for a reduction in average sodium consumption of nearly 12%, from 3,400 to 3,000 mg per day.
According to Susan Mayne, a food safety expert with the Food and Drug Administration, the modification would result in a reduction of 60 teaspoons of salt consumed per year.
According to the FDA, the United States’ food safety body, Americans drink 50 percent more sodium than is recommended, and 95 percent of children aged two to thirteen consume more sodium than is recommended.
Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes are all symptoms of excessive consumption.
Acting FDA chief Janet Woodcock told reporters that the problem disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities, and that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated these health inequities.
The FDA stated, “We know that even these small reductions adopted gradually over the next few years will dramatically reduce diet-related disorders.”
The CDC will track how the guidelines are being followed, with the long-term goal of lowering sodium consumption to the recommended daily limit of 2,300 mg for adults aged 14 and over.
According to the FDA, the 2024 deadline provides ample time for manufacturers to develop alternative recipes and for customers to change their eating habits.
“We realize that sodium plays a role in food technology and food safety, and we recognize that this transformation will not happen quickly,” Woodcock added. “This method will also allow people to adapt their tastes.” More than a hundred countries have salt reduction plans, and many international firms are currently selling food goods under trademarks that are available in the United States but are lower in sodium.
Mayne stated, “They already know how to do it.”