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Americans Likely Consume Too Much Sodium, Study Finds

Americans Sodium Study

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found over half of the packaged grocery store foods examined in a new study to contain too much added salt.

The study, which was published in the April edition of the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, may help explain why over 90 percent of Americans consume more sodium than is recommended.

Epidemiologist Linda Schieb, a researcher with the division of heart disease and stroke prevention at the CDC who was associated with the recent study, was quoted in a US News report as having said that they found “more than 50 percent” of the products examined “exceeded the FDA healthy food label guidelines for sodium.”

We looked at packaged food sales in grocery stores […] What we found was more than 50 percent of those products exceeded the FDA healthy food label guidelines for sodium.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s guidelines are geared towards enhancing the amount of fruits and vegetables Americans consume while reducing the amount of fat, sugar and sodium.

The FDA prevents food manufacturers from labeling food as healthy unless it contains less than 480 milligrams of sodium in a single service of individual food or less than 600 mg in a main dish meal, Today reported.

Researchers behind the study analyzed U.S. grocery stores’ product sales from 2009 from 52 markets in three census divisions — representing roughly half of the country’s population. Neither Walmart nor warehouse stores were included in the study, according to its researchers.

Director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis Connie Diekman, who is also a registered dietitian, was quoted by US News as having said that high levels of sodium in packaged foods are attributed to “its role in preservation, so the fact that the studied products were higher than ‘healthy’ was no surprise”.

In unrelated news, the CDC is warning the public of the spreading drug-resistant bacteria known as Shigella sonnei, which has spread across 32 states as well as Puerto Rico in the last 9-months.

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