Cutting a sprinkle of salt from Americans' diets could save 92,000 lives a year

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

BY Joe Dziemianowicz


Thursday, January 21st 2010, 2:58 PM


Even if you go easy on the salt shaker, you could still be getting too much sodium: Nearly 80 percent of our daily intake comes from processed foods. Related NewsArticlesFDA to discuss stricter guidelines for tanning beds due to skin cancer and other health risksFish oil, omega-3 fatty acids are they key to a youthful, healthy heart: studyKids’ cereals still packed with sugar, despite companies’ pledge to market healthy productsSwine flu program hogged city’s $31MCurb salt by a little, cut heart disease, strokes and deaths by a lot.

Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine show that reducing salt intake by 3 grams a day in the U.S. could prevent 99,000 heart attacks, 66,000 strokes and 92,000 deaths.

Researchers say the cutback in salt is doable. And cost-effective. It would also save $24 billion in annual health costs per year.

“Even if the federal government were to bear the entire cost of a regulatory program designed to reduce salt consumption, the government would still be expected to realize cost savings for Medicare, saving $6 to $12 in health expenditures for each dollar spent on the regulatory program,” the researchers wrote.

In the U.S. many people consume too much salt, which contributes to high blood pressure and cardiac disease.

An average man consumes 10.4 grams per day, while a typical woman takes in 7.3 grams, according to the report. A whopping 75 to 80 percent comes from processed food.

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