Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

respect to sodium content in terms of functional requirements and food safety and with respect to the potential for reduction. In addition, categories should allow for feasible tracking and monitoring of reductions based on data availability.

In order to establish proposed food categories for packaged foods, the Health Department first compared those created by the UK Salt Reduction Campaign with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categories defined for Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACC)3 and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food categories (Table G-1), and then reviewed Nielsen categories and categories defined by Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), another market research firm.

The NSRI Packaged Food Database was used to identify items that were outliers in sodium content within each proposed food category. These outliers were more closely assessed to consider category fit. A total of 46 potential food categories were initially proposed. Industry feedback was then solicited through conference calls, written requests, and food category meetings conducted in person, with an option for industry to participate by remote access. Based upon industry comments, changes included the elimination or addition of categories and the movement of select products between categories. Currently, there are more than 60 food categories, with limited further category refinement expected as the process comes to a conclusion.

Packaged Food Targets

Proposed targets by food category were developed first by analysis of the NSRI Packaged Food Database. In response to industry feedback, the metric sodium mg per 100 g of food is used as the unit for reported analysis, setting targets, and monitoring. This metric was preferred over sodium mg per serving size because serving size may vary within a range according to FDA and USDA regulations, preventing accurate comparisons across products.

In order to assess each food category and to set targets that would take into account differences in individual product sales—and therefore differences in contribution to population intake—the sales-weighted mean was calculated. A sales-weighted mean is calculated by weighting each product based on its relative sales before calculating the mean. The sales-weighted mean sodium is based on all branded products with available nutrition information in the top 80 percent of sales of each food category.

Additional summary statistics including the distribution and range of

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement