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Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States
committee also characterized the current regulatory framework. Further, the committee reviewed the possibility of leveraging activities through food specifications set by large government food purchasers, explored economic incentives such as a salt tax, and noted sodium reduction activities in other countries. It also considered the potential of innovative technologies for salt substitutes and enhancers as well as culinary advances.
Finally, the committee integrated the information into a series of discussions that led to conclusions about the strategies to be recommended, implementation tasks, and information gaps.
CONTEXT FOR THE RECOMMENDATIONS
This study was conducted against the backdrop of the unavoidable conclusion that existing strategies have not succeeded in achieving meaningful reduction of sodium intake. Efforts targeted at reducing sodium intake were initiated during the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health and have involved a range of organizations and a variety of activities. Overall, estimates of sodium intake have not decreased. In fact, as shown in Figure S-2, estimates reveal an upward trend from the early 1970s. Although some of the differences in intake estimates over time may
FIGURE S-2 Trends in mean sodium intake from food for three gender/age groups, 1971–1974 to 2003–2006.
NOTES: Analyzed using one-day mean intake data for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003–2006 to be consistent with earlier analyses and age-adjusted to the 2000 Census; includes salt used in cooking and food preparation, but not salt added to food at the table. d = day; mg = milligram.
SOURCE: Briefel and Johnson (2004) for 1971–2000 data; NHANES for 2003– 2006 data.