Why is salt the new target in the media?

You may have seen or read about a subway ad campaign that kicked off this week in NYC by the city’s Department of Health that urged consumers to reduce salt consumption.

NYC Subway Campaign

The concern over public salt consumption and salt levels in common food products is not really new news. In a 2006 Report on the Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles, the AMA Council on Science and Public Health addressed the issue of reducing the population burden of cardiovascular disease by reducing sodium intake. You can read a summary of the report here.

The CSAPH stated the public health advice to reduce sodium intake, such as that recently in NYC, is intended to influence the overall distribution of sodium intakes and, thereby, the incidence of hypertension in the population. With an appropriate food industry response, combined with consumer education and knowledgeable use of food labels, the average consumer should be able to choose a lower sodium diet without an inordinate level of dietary restriction, inconvenience, or loss of food enjoyment.

If we could change what the food companies and restaurants do, we can change the consumer’s mindset. And the result will be less cardiovascular disease and improved health overall for our population.

Russell Kridel, MD