A.B.A., S.F.A. say findings add 'vital new perspective' to sodium discussion

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The American Bakers Association and the Snack Food Association believe the Institute of Medicine’s findings on sodium intake “add a vital new perspective to the national discussion of sodium’s role in the American diet.”

The associations’ comments came after the I.O.M. issued a report, “Sodium intake in populations: Assessment of evidence,” that found no evidence to support recommendations to significantly lower sodium intake below 2,300 mg per day for the general U.S. population or below 1,500 mg per day within certain subgroups. Currently, American adults consume an average of 3,400 mg per day, the I.O.M. said.

“A.B.A. and S.F.A. members support efforts to improve the health of all Americans by providing ample product choices with lower sodium, fat and calories,” the A.B.A. and S.F.A. said. “These changes are based on customer demand and scientific evidence. We are pleased that the I.O.M. performed such a detailed analysis of the latest sodium data, releasing results that counter current and prevalent recommendations.”

The I.O.M. in its report identified a number of research and data gaps that need to be addressed before recommendations are made for specific sodium targets for the general population. Jim McCarthy, president and chief executive officer of the S.F.A., said the association looks forward to working with the scientific community to address those gaps.

“It is important not to get ahead of the science in our efforts to address chronic disease, and our industries stand ready to be a part of a science-based solution,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Robb MacKie, president and c.e.o. of the A.B.A., added, “This lack of data is particularly important given the upcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines process. We anticipate a thorough review of this report by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.”

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