Scientists: FDA focuses too much on sugar, not enough on sodium
One of the biggest health risks facing the average American diet is sodium, though you wouldn't know it given all of the attention that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and similar public health agencies place on sugar or fats. Eating too much salt on a daily basis — a fact of life for most Americans, both children and adults — significantly increases risks for hypertension, heart disease and stroke, but despite this, the FDA has yet to follow through on the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recommended guidelines for salt consumption.
"Yes, the issue has lost momentum, though excess sodium is killing just about as many people this year as four years ago," Dr. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), tells FoodNavigator-USA. "FDA officials gave up more than half the ballgame when they dismissed the IOM's 2010 advice to set limits on sodium and instead said they would issue voluntary guidelines."
However, the problem with voluntary guidelines is that they're just that — voluntary. No food manufacturer or provider is obligated to begin reducing the sodium in its products, and some may be hesitant to take action if their competitors don't either.
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