Scientists question empirical validity of current salt consumption guidelines.

  • For decades, the federal government has advised the U.S. population to limit salt intake.  The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommend limiting daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg for most individuals and to 1,500 mg to special populations, including children, older adults, and those with particular health risks and concerns (e.g., hypertension, diabetes).
  • The empirical basis of the “reduced salt” recommendation has become the subject of significant controversy, with many scientists citing the existence of limited evidence that observing recommended limits on sodium intake improves health outcomes.
  • For years, FDA has been publicizing the benefits of reduced sodium intake and many food companies have voluntarily committed to reducing salt in their products.  Particularly as government agencies work to finalize the 2015 DGA, it remains to be seen whether and how the government will address the existing debate over the value of salt reduction.  A change in the position could have a significant impact on the food industry’s current efforts to find palatable and viable replacements for sodium.