Move forward with voluntary sodium targets to reduce costs and disease, says American Heart Association

April 10, 2018 Categories: Advisories & Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 10, 2018 — American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement today on a new study that finds industry adoption of the FDA 2016 sodium reformulation targets for processed foods will cost-effectively reduce cardiovascular disease. The modeling analysis showed that fully achieving the FDA sodium reduction targets could prevent approximately 450,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, gain 2 million quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and create discounted societal cost savings of approximately $40 billion over a 20 years period. 

“The more sodium you consume, the more you risk elevating your blood pressure. As a nation, we are eating our way to heart disease and stroke, but right now we have an opportunity to change the food supply in a way that will improve our nation’s health. We agree with FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb that reducing sodium in the US diet is the most effective public health nutrition strategy.

The American Heart Association strongly believes voluntary sodium targets for food manufacturers, restaurants and food service operators can reduce our nation’s excessive sodium intake. This study reaffirms that the FDA strategy with industry implementation will positively impact millions of lives, produce societal cost savings and should move forward without delay. 

This change is something consumers say they want and several major food companies have already been working to reduce sodium in many of their products. We commend those industry leaders and urge them to continue their efforts to give consumers more choice over the amount of sodium they eat.

It’s time to for the FDA to level the playing field for food companies and advance the voluntary sodium targets. Adoption of these targets will save billions in healthcare costs and improve lives, which remains priceless.”

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Retha Sherrod: 202-785-7929; retha.sherrod@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org