CDC Urges Reduction in Salt Intake to Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives

Posted on July 1, 2010  Comments (6)

Most people know we eat far too much salt and that it is killing lots of us. It is still amazing that we have over 100,000 people in the USA every year die this way and yet we barely pay attention. Doesn’t it seem like we should care more about life?

Excessive dietary sodium consumption increases blood pressure, which increases the risk for stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and renal disease. Based on predictive modeling of the health benefits of reduced salt intake on blood pressure, a population-wide reduction in sodium of 1,200 mg/day would reduce the annual number of new cases of coronary heart disease by 60,000—120,000 cases and stroke by 32,000—66,000 cases.

Fewer than 10% of all adults in the USA met their recommended limit. U.S. adults consumed an average of 3,466 mg/day of sodium. Most of the daily sodium consumed came from grains (1,288 mg; 36.9%) and meats, poultry, fish, and mixtures (994 mg; 27.9%).

In the United States, an estimated 77% of dietary sodium intake comes from processed and restaurant foods and approximately 10% comes from table salt and cooking. More details from the CDC.

Related: CDC: Reduce Salt in Your DietFood Rules: An Eater’s ManualEat Less Salt and Save Your HeartAnother Strike Against Cola

6 Responses to “CDC Urges Reduction in Salt Intake to Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives”

  1. Burt
    July 1st, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

    CDC fear mongering – the majority of people can process sodium without adverse effects and low Na may be as unhealthy – the topic is poorly understood and correlation data are mostly cherry-picked by those with axes to grind. Potassium / sodium ratios are also important. this is only one of many contravening sources.

  2. mikem
    July 3rd, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

    Where macro-analysis (and possible pseudo-analysis as burt says), freedom, and government funded healthcare collide, we will probably have more social engineering attempting to influence if not control what we eat. Meanwhile, something that is often missed is: what is bad for a population isn’t necessarily bad for an individual. And vice versa.

    The above not withstanding, interesting blog. Nice to see somebody publishing for k-12 engineering/science. Keep up the good work. I know it takes a lot of time!

  3. Jesse
    July 6th, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

    Burt, I disagree. We need salt to survive, but American salt levels are astronomically high. In any case, it is good to get a blood test (including a Chem Panel and CBC, complete blood count) on a yearly basis.

  4. Dave
    July 14th, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    I agree with Burt though I live in Europe but the food habit is not much difference. I can say that European food not not contain as much salt as Indian or many Asian dishes. I do not like too much salt, but my problem is that unless it is quite large amount I do not see much difference. But I am sure salt intake does make difference in blood pressure. That’s why large number of south east Asian people suffer from high blood pressure and other related issues.

  5. Anonymous
    July 15th, 2010 @ 4:10 am

    We have been using salt to flavor and preserve foods for many years and even had a great effect on the economy. However, the problem with salt is that it contains sodium and eating too much sodium may increase blood pressure, which can develop cardiovascular disease. Less amount of sodium in your diet may help to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. I think it is a good idea to dispense the risk of excessive use of salt to the general public for prevention of possible diseases that it may cause.

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    July 28th, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

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