“disease claims”) in advertising. The use of heart disease claims peaked in 1989 at 2.9 percent of ads, cancer peaked in 1997 at 2.2 percent, blood pressure peaked in 1995 at 1.2 percent, and osteoporosis peaked in 1997 at 0.5 percent. Thus, nutrient content claims are far more commonly used in magazine ads than are claims linking food products to reduction of disease risk, and sodium-related and/or hypertension claims are less commonly used in advertising than are claims for other nutrients and/or other diseases.
The question arises as to whether the marketing of foods specifically labeled to indicate their usefulness in lower-sodium diets has increased over the past 40 years. In this regard, the number of lower-sodium foods (foods labeled as no-, low-, or reduced-sodium) introduced between 1989 and 2004 is shown in Figure 2-10.
The number of such foods introduced into the marketplace has declined significantly since 1990, with approximately half as many new products introduced in 2004 as in 1990 (CSPI, 2005b). In 2007, a survey of packaged food products reported that 209 low-sodium or low-salt products were introduced, although this was an increase from 102 such products in 2002 (Packaged Facts, 2008).
As a percentage of all new food introductions into the marketplace, foods labeled as “no salt,” “low salt,” “no sodium,” or “low sodium” fluctuated between 2.5 and 3.5 percent of all new food products (excluding beverages) from 2000–2006, peaked in 2007 at 4.3 percent, and declined