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Grand Rounds April 2011

Sodium Reduction: Time for Choice

The vast majority of US adults consume more than double the recommended maximum of sodium, which is a direct cause of hypertension, a condition that affects nearly 1 in 3 Americans. Hypertension is not only a major contributor to cardiovascular disease (CVD), disability, and health disparities, but the treatment of related CVDs can cost our already overburdened health system $273 billion annually.

Sadly, the public does not always have a choice when it comes to reducing sodium intake: we cannot remedy this problem simply by removing the salt shaker from our tables. Of the 3,400 mg of sodium the average American consumes daily, nearly 80% is invisible in sources such as restaurant and processed foods. And once the salt is in the food, it cannot be taken out!

This session of Public Health Grand Rounds explored the consequences of excessive sodium intake and discussed the technological context for the use of salt in our food supply. The speakers reviewed current sodium control efforts, such as the National Salt Reduction Initiative and food procurement policies, and separated fact from fiction to support actions needed to address this very real public health burden.

Presentation

Additional Resources:

Presented By

Darwin R. Labarthe, MD, MPH, PhD
Director, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, National Center for
Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC
Presentation - Sodium Reduction: Facts and Fiction

Jeremiah Fasano, PhD
Consumer Safety Officer, Division of Biotechnology and GRAS Notice Review,
Office of Food Additive Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration
Presentation - Salt as a Food Ingredient: Technological Context

Mary E. Cogswell, DrPH
Senior Scientist, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, National Center for
Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC
Presentation - Monitoring Progress in Sodium Reduction in Foods

Christine Johnson, MBA
Director of Nutrition Policy, Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control Program,
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Presentation - National Salt Reduction Initiative: A Voluntary Framework to Reduce Population Sodium Intake

Facilitated By

Tanja Popovic, M.D., Ph.D., Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Shane Joiner, Communication Manager, Public Health Grand Rounds

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