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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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Sodium Reduction

blood pressure meter (sphygmomanometer) and news headlines about heart disease, prevent strokes, low sodium diet, and hypertension
man holding and looking at boxed fast food item and bun
waitress with plates of food
woman and daughter in grocery store aisle
nutrition facts label showing 700mg of sodium

On September 13, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services, with several key initial partners, launched Million Hearts, an initiative that aims to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. As one component of this initiative, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) are launching efforts to identify opportunities to reduce sodium in food in order to put more control into consumers' hands. Excess sodium is a contributory factor in the development of hypertension, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

FDA and FSIS are seeking comments on sodium reduction

FDA and FSIS have established dockets to obtain comments, data, and evidence relevant to the dietary intake of sodium as well as current and emerging approaches designed to promote sodium reduction.

Public Meeting

FDA and FSIS, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USDA's Agricultural Research Service and Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, sponsored a public meeting to provide interested persons an opportunity to discuss the topics raised in the September 15, 2011 Federal Register Notice. The sponsoring agencies provided multiple opportunities for individuals to actively express their views by making presentations at the meeting, participating in breakout sessions, and submitting written comments to the designated docket(s) by January 27, 2012.  We recognize ongoing efforts by a number of members of the restaurant and packaged food industries to reduce sodium and appreciate the complexities of reducing sodium in foods. Continued input and support from industry and other stakeholders are important to support further progress on this significant public health issue. The public meeting will inform possible future action by the agencies.

Consumer Information on Reducing Sodium Intake