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Vital Signs: Where's the sodium?There's too much sodium in many common foods.


A woman reading the nutrition label of a prepared food item.The CDC Vital Signs program is a call to action each month concerning a single, important public health topic. For American Heart Month, the February edition of CDC Vital Signs focuses on the amount of sodium in Americans’ diets and what we can do to reduce it.

About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.

Too much sodium increases a person’s risk for high blood pressure. High blood pressure often leads to heart disease, stroke, and other vascular diseases. To learn more about sodium in your diet, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/Sodium/index.html.

Key Messages

  • About 90% of Americans aged 2 years and older eat too much sodium.
  • Reducing the sodium Americans eat by 1200 mg per day on average could save $20 billion a year in medical costs.
  • Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants.
  • 44% of the sodium we eat comes from 10 types of foods.
  • Different brands of the same foods may have different sodium levels. For example, sodium in chicken noodle soup can vary by as much as 840 milligrams (mg) per serving so be sure to read the labels on foods.
  • Over 800,000 people die each year from heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases, costing the nation $273 billion health care dollars in 2010.

Other Vital Signs


 
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