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Volume 10, Number 5 - May 2009


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Dear Readers, Did you know that nearly 70% of U.S. adults should consume no more that 1500 milligrams of sodium per day? Knowing the facts might lead some food labelers to rethink product formulations. Read Food Label News to learn more.

Q.  What is the 2400 milligram Daily Value for sodium based on?

            C.B., Dietitian, NE


A.  The Institute of Medicine's most recent (2004) Recommended Dietary Intake for sodium established 1.5g per day as the Adequate Intake (AI) and 2.3g per day as the Upper Limit (UL). Read more.

Submit a question for Reader Q&A (no charge).

Per CDC: 1500 mg Sodium Limit for Most Adults

In a March 26, 2009, news release, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the finding from their study of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, that 69.2% of U.S. adults are in the population group that are advised by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to limit sodium intake to 1500 mg per day. Individuals with high blood pressure, blacks, and adults more than 40 years old characterize the group; adults not in this group should limit sodium intake to 2300 mg per day.

This CDC study is the first to use national data to show what percent of the adult population belongs to the group that is advised to limit sodium to no more than 1500 mg per day.

In contrast to the recommended sodium levels, the estimated average intake of sodium for persons in the United States aged 2 years and older was 3436 mg per day in NHANES 2005-2006.

Read news release

Plan to Lower Sodium Includes Food Industry

A March 26, 2009, news release (see above) announced that the Institute of Medicine was commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to review and make recommendations about strategies that can be employed to reduce sodium intake to levels recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The study is prompted by the recent finding by CDC that nearly 70% of U.S. adults should consume no more than 1500 mg of sodium per day.

The Institute's start date was September 2008 and a report is to be made public by February 2010. The committee will consider many options including:

  • government approaches - regulatory and legislative actions

  • food supply approaches - new product development, food reformulation

  • information/education strategies for the public and professionals

Commentary: Food Consulting Company can help manufacturers with product reformulation efforts for sodium and other nutrients. See services.

Food Labels/Sodium & Food Label News Archive

Food Label News archive can be helpful to food manufacturers as they consider how the sodium content of their products may become a benefit or a liability. The following articles are recommended and will lead to additional helpful reading:

August 2006, health-concerned stakeholders announced demands regarding action to reduce salt consumption

November 2007, FDA announced public meeting on the current framework of policies relating to salt and sodium in foods

October 2008, stakeholder comments on current FDA policies relating to salt and sodium in foods

At Your Service:  Karen Duester, Food Consulting Company President, moderated a session on FDA food labeling at the April 2009 Federal Food Regulatory Conference, hosted by Prime Label Consultants in Washington, D.C. Session handouts are available.

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