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City's Anti-Salt Crusade Continues

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The city added more corporate allies Tuesday in its year-old campaign to curb sodium in processed foods. Hostess, Butterball, Snyder’s of Hanover and three other companies pledged to participate in the New York-led “National Salt Reduction Initiative.”

Dr. Sonia Angell, from the City Health Department, said lowering sodium can have a large impact, even in items without much salt -- like Hostess Wonder Bread.

"Bread is one of the largest contributors to salt in our diet, because we eat so much of it," Angell said. "So, the commitment of a company like Hostess to reduce their sodium has great potential, because the cumulative effect of eating all that bread all day long can make a big difference."

The Initiative is to trying to get large food manufacturers and restaurant chains to voluntarily reduce sodium in their foods by 25 percent over five years. Organizers of the campaign say doing that would reduce the entire American population’s salt intake by 20 percent.

The underlying goal is to reduce high blood pressure and heart disease.

But not everyone agrees with the campaign. Some researchers believe only a relatively small group of people would see major benefits by reducing salt this way, and that for others it’s unnecessary and even potentially harmful.

The campaign is based on a similar one in Great Britain that organizers credit with reducing daily salt consumption by 10 percent over eight years. But those results have been criticized by some American researchers, who say the British ignored many studies in order to get the conclusion they wanted.

Along with New York City, the Initiative includes dozens of local and state health departments and various health advocacies.

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Comments [2]

Hiroko Date from new york, ny

A friend said she has low blood pressure so sometimes she has to deliberately eat something salty.
Also, I'll have to look more into the matter of some people being super-tasters, under-tasters, besides normal tasters, let alone which of those, cooks, chefs, and processed food determiners are, although taste-test studies are done for the prevailing results.

Nov. 23 2010 11:11 PM
Hiroko Date from new york, ny

A doctor told me that 15% of the population is bothered by too much salt. I think I am salt-sensitive and try to keep my salt intake low/er. A doctor told me to do that many years ago. I feel unwell when I eat too much salt so I can't eat frozen dinners and other high sodium foods.
A large article in the New York Times, about a year ago, ended with a small paragraph in which it was stated that salt is antiseptic (which a dentist also told me) so maybe that is why a lot sodium is put in processed foods.
There are pluses and minuses.

Nov. 23 2010 10:55 PM

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