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.
This is Part 2 of a lecture in three parts.
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