The vast majority of Americans consume too much sodium, primarily from packaged and restaurant foods. The evidence linking sodium intake with direct health outcomes indicates a positive relationship between higher levels of sodium intake and cardiovascular disease risk, consistent with the relationship between sodium intake and blood pressure. Despite communication and educational efforts focused on lowering sodium intake over the last three decades data suggest average US sodium intake has remained remarkably elevated, leading some to argue that current sodium guidelines are unattainable. The IOM in 2010 recommended gradual reductions in the sodium content of packaged and restaurant foods as a primary strategy to reduce US sodium intake, and research since that time suggests gradual, downward shifts in mean population sodium intake are achievable and can move the population toward current sodium intake guidelines. The current paper reviews recent evidence indicating: (1) significant reductions in mean population sodium intake can be achieved with gradual sodium reduction in the food supply, (2) gradual sodium reduction in certain cases can be achieved without a noticeable change in taste or consumption of specific products, and (3) lowering mean population sodium intake can move us toward meeting the current individual guidelines for sodium intake.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited