FDA Issues Guidance Calling for Voluntary Reductions in Sodium in Food Products

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the issuance of final guidance, “Voluntary Sodium Reduction Goals: Target Mean and Upper Bound Concentrations for Sodium in Commercially Processed, Packaged, and Prepared Foods.” The guidance provides for voluntary short-term sodium reduction targets for food manufacturers, chain restaurants, and food service operators for 163 categories of processed, packaged, and prepared foods.

The targets in the final guidance seek to decrease average sodium intake from approximately 3,400 milligrams to 3,000 milligrams per day, about a 12 percent reduction, over the next 2.5 years. According to the FDA, although the average intake would still be above the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommended limit of 2,300 milligrams per day, modest reductions in sodium intake can substantially decrease diet-related diseases.

The FDA has hailed the final guidance issued this week as a critical step in addressing preventable diet-related chronic diseases and advancing health equity throughout the country. Additional information, including the final guidance, is available here.