Mayor Michael Bloomberg has declared another victory in his war to make New York a healthier city with the help of 20 of the nation’s biggest companies who have all agreed to lower the salt content in their products to meet targets set by the national Salt Reduction Initiative (a partnership of 91 city health departments) he spearheaded in 2008.
The proposal looks to reduce sodium content in all foods by 25% as early as next year.
In fact, Subway reportedly dropped the sodium content in its sandwiches by 32%, while kraft reduced the sodium in its cheeses by 18%, and Unilever lowered sodium in its Ragu pasta sauce by 20%, just to name a few.
“It really shows the difference we can make when public and private sectors come together to tackle the biggest issues in our country,” stated Bloomberg.
Russell Moroz, Vice President of research and development and quality at Kraft, said that his company agreed with the mayor’s assessment on the excess use of salt in diets and “focused their efforts on where we could make the biggest improvements, making our products healthier without sacrificing taste.”
In response, Bloomberg said the companies’ efforts couldn’t have come at a better time. Recent studies have shown that 90% of Americans consume too much sodium, which leads to higher rates of high blood pressure and diseases including congestive heart failure, cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease.
However, it is important to remember that your body needs some sodium to function properly by helping it maintaining the right balance of fluids in your body; helping transmit nerve impulses, and influencing the contraction and relaxation of muscles
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2010, recommended limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day, or 1,500 mg if you're age 51 or older, or if you are black, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.”