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Consumer Reports Health News
Date:1/11/2008

YONKERS, N.Y., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Welcome to Consumer Reports Health News for health and medical journalists. Consumer Reports and ConsumerReports.org cover issues pertaining to the efficacy and safety of prescription and non-prescription drugs (including natural medicines), mental health, diet and nutrition, food safety, and fitness. CR tests health and fitness products, rates the effectiveness and affordability of prescription drugs, and evaluates the claims made by drug companies and the health care industry -- all without commercial agendas or advertiser influence.

Copies of the reports highlighted below are available upon request.

Special Report: Shaking the Salt and Sugar From Your Diet

According to the January issue of Consumer Reports on Health, the Food and Drug Administration is now considering whether it should regulate the amount of sodium in processed foods. In the meantime, it's up to consumers to limit their sodium intake, which may prove challenging for some; today, the average American consumes nearly twice the recommended maximum of sodium. And we love our sweets -- the average person consumes nearly 460 nutritionally empty calories of added sugar every day. The report is available online at http://www.ConsumerReportsHealth.org.

Consumer Reports provides tips for cutting back on salt and sugar and suggests ways to incorporate stand-ins, such as spices, for flavor enhancement. CR also clarifies what's behind those hard to decipher nutrient claims, such as "sodium free," "very low sodium," "low sodium," and "reduced sodium" or "less sodium." Understanding those labels will be critical to consumers trying to lower their blood pressure; people with a systolic blood pressure over 120 millimeters of mercury (mm/Hg) or a diastolic pressure over 80 mm/Hg should aim for 1,500 mg of sodium a day.

Adult Vaccinations: The Shots You
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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