The Food and Drug Administration should limit sodium content in processed foods because the American diet has been so overloaded with sodium for the past 30 years that there is an epidemic of high blood pressure.
That was the message from medical and public interest groups this week, when the FDA held a hearing aimed at deciding whether to regulate salt as a food additive, giving it the authority to set limits on its use.
According to testimony, recorded by Bloomberg:
Cutting salt content in half might save 150,000 lives every year.
Americans consume between 43% and 73% too much salt, and have done so for 30 years.
39% of all Americans have high blood pressure.
30% of salt consumption comes from eating cheese, mayonnaise, pastries, cereal, milk and condiments such as ketchup.
In 2005, 77% of the average American's sodium intake came when eating restaurant or processed foods, 12% was naturally occurring, 6% came from sprinkling table salt and 5% came from home cooking.
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