The FDA yesterday released draft guidance for public comment that provides “practical, voluntary sodium reduction targets for the food industry.” Short-term (two-year) and long-term (10-year) voluntary targets aim for a daily sodium intake of 2,300 milligrams per day, down from a current average of 3,400 milligrams per day.

Feedback from stakeholders is encouraged during the 90- and 150-day comment periods. The guidance proposes “feasible reductions across a broad range of food categories with high and moderate amounts of sodium.” The FDA particularly encourages adoption of the guidance by manufacturers with high national sales and by restaurant chains with a national and regional presence.

Manufacturers like Nestle are already taking voluntary steps to reduce sodium levels. CDC research links sodium intake to high blood pressure and heart disease. They estimate more than three-quarters of sodium in the American diet comes from processed and restaurant food, giving consumers little choice about lowering their daily intake.

Source: Food and Drug Administration. FDA issues draft guidance to food industry for voluntarily reducing sodium in processed and commercially prepared food.