Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States
Jane E. Henney, Christine L. Taylor, and Caitlin S. Boon, Editors
INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
500 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
This study was supported by Contract No. 200-2005-13434, Task Order No. 14, between the National Academy of Sciences and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Contract No. N01-OD-4-2139, Task Order No. 219, between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Contract No. HHSF223200811156P between the National Academy of Sciences and the Food and Drug Administration; and Contract No. HHSP233200800635P between the National Academy of Sciences and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake.
Strategies to reduce sodium intake in the United States / Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake, Food and Nutrition Board ; Jane E. Henney, Christine L. Taylor, and Caitlin S. Boon, editors.
p. ; cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 978-0-309-14805-4 (pbk.) — ISBN 978-0-309-14806-1 (pdf)
1. Nutrition policy—United States. 2. Sodium in the body—United States. 3. Salt-free diet—United States. 4. Food—Sodium content—United States. I. Henney, Jane E., 1947- II. Taylor, Christine Lewis. III. Boon, Caitlin S. IV. Title.
[DNLM: 1. Sodium, Dietary—United States. 2. Diet—United States. 3. Health Policy—United States. 4. Health Promotion—United States. WB 424 I59s 2010]
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Suggested citation: IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2010. Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
COMMITTEE ON STRATEGIES TO REDUCE SODIUM INTAKE
JANE E. HENNEY (Chair),
College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, OH
CHERYL A. M. ANDERSON,
Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
SONIA Y. ANGELL,
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY
LAWRENCE J. APPEL,
School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
GARY K. BEAUCHAMP,
Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA
RONETTE R. BRIEFEL,
Mathematica Policy Research, Washington, DC
MARSHA N. COHEN,
Hastings College of the Law, University of California, San Francisco
CHRISTINA A. MIRELES DEWITT,
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater
The Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena, CA
MARY K. MUTH,
RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
ROBERT J. RUBIN,
School of Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA
ELIZABETH A. YETLEY,
Upper Marlboro, MD
CHRISTINE L. TAYLOR, Study Director
CAITLIN S. BOON, Program Officer
HEATHER B. DEL VALLE, Associate Program Officer
EMILY ANN MILLER, Research Associate
MARIANNE J. DATILES, Senior Program Assistant (from December 2007 to June 2009)
SAUNDRA LEE, Senior Program Assistant (from June 2009)
ANTON BANDY, Financial Officer
GERALDINE KENNEDO, Administrative Assistant
LINDA D. MEYERS, Director,
Food and Nutrition Board
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Armand V. Cardello, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center, Natick, MA
Nancy M. Childs, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA
Robert Earl, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Washington, DC
John D. Floros, The Pennsylvania State University, State College
Karen Glanz, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Deanna M. Hoelscher, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Daniel W. Jones, University of Mississippi, Oxford
Eileen T. Kennedy, Tufts University, Boston, MA
Barbara K. Rimer, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dwight Riskey, PepsiCo (retired), Plano, TX
William B. Schultz, Zuckerman Spaeder, LLP, Washington, DC
Frances H. Seligson, Nutrition Consultant, Hershey, PA
Walter Willett, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Elaine L. Larson, Columbia University, and Johanna Dwyer, National Institutes of Health. Appointed by the Institute of Medicine, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution.
In 1969, the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health issued recommendations that, among other important nutrition concerns, highlighted the role of sodium in hypertension and marked the starting point of public health initiatives to address the high levels of sodium intake among the U.S. population. Forty years later, in January 2009, the first meeting of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake convened. In the intervening years, much had changed—what we eat, where we eat, and who prepares our food. However, in spite of the attempts of many in both the public health community and the food industry, what did not change is the amount of sodium we consume each day, largely in the form of salt. High sodium intake puts the whole population—young and old, male and female, all ethnic groups—at risk for hypertension and subsequent cardiovascular events such as heart failure and stroke.
Hypertension is extraordinarily common: 32 percent of adult Americans have hypertension, and roughly another third have pre-hypertension. The costs of these health conditions are staggering. Estimates place the direct and indirect costs of hypertension at $73.4 billion in 2009.
The committee’s charge was to recommend strategies to reduce Americans’ intake of sodium to levels consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In the wake of the many unsuccessful and/or unsustainable efforts, this was no small task, but—in light of the potential public health benefit that could be achieved if the goal was met—it was a worthy one. Simply put, the task of the committee was broad, far-reaching, and complex. I am delighted that the assembled committee had the individual
expertise and experience as well as the collective will to serve the health of the public and the willingness to meet the significant challenge of our charge. It was a privilege to be a part of this effort.
Over the course of the study, we met often and consulted many sources. Our first meeting set the tone as we heard from each of our study sponsors. A subsequent public hearing elicited needed input and was extremely useful to the committee’s deliberations. Invited speakers and panelists included Paul Breslin, Cindy Beeren, Ed Roccella, Susan Borra, Michael R. Taylor, Fred Degnan, Philip Derfler, Cliff Johnson, Alanna Moshfegh, Eric Hentges, Corinne Vaughan, Vanessa Hattersley, Ed Fern, Chor San Khoo, Todd Abraham, Douglas Balentine, Deanne Brandstetter, Stephanie Rohm Quirantes, and Elizabeth Johnson. A host of persons chose to share their perspectives and experience with us on that day and afterward by input to the committee’s website. We sought specific advice and analysis regarding current dietary patterns, a better understanding of restaurants and others in the foodservice industry, and the range of options available for consideration from a regulatory perspective. Each request was met fully and greatly facilitated our work.
On behalf of the committee, I extend our deepest thanks to the able project staff of the Institute of Medicine: Christine Taylor, study director; Caitlin Boon, program officer; Heather Del Valle, associate program officer; Emily Ann Miller, research associate; Marianne J. Datiles, senior program assistant; and Saundra Lee, senior program assistant. All gave generously of their talents and time. Our committee benefited greatly from their industry and guidance as we deliberated on our approach and challenges. In addition, the committee would like to thank other members of the Food and Nutrition Board staff including Linda Meyers, director; Sheila Moats, associate program officer; Alice Vorosmarti, research associate; Julia Hogland, research associate; Heather Breiner, program associate; Anton Bandy, financial officer; and Geraldine Kennedo, administrative assistant, who assisted at critical times during the project. On behalf of the committee, I would also like to thank David Vladeck for his service as a committee member from October 2008 until May 2009. Further, the committee would like to thank Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. for providing data analyses.
In the view of the committee, the recommendations in this report, when undertaken, will result in the desired decrease in sodium intake across the U.S. population. To this end, we are grateful to have been a voice for this important initiative that will now require the commitment of many.
Jane E. Henney, Chair
Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake