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Salt in Processed Foods Focus of the 7th National Forum on Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
Date:3/17/2009

Food and Health Experts Come To Table To Discuss Sodium in American Diet

WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With nine in 10 Americans developing high blood pressure in their lifetimes, food and health experts will debate the connection between salt and high blood pressure and how much salt should be in processed food during a panel held at the 7th National Forum on Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention.

Americans should consume about 2,300 milligrams of salt daily, according to federal guidelines. And those at risk - African-Americans, middle-aged and older adults - should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams a day.

However, the typical citizen eats about two to three times that amount each day, the American Medical Association says. And about 75 percent of that salt intake comes from processed food, according to the Department of Agriculture. (About 10 percent comes from the shaker and another 10 percent is naturally in the foods.)

"Most Americans would be surprised to find that there could be more sodium in the pancakes they eat for breakfast than in a bag of potato chips," according to a public comment issued by the National Forum. The National Forum wrote to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, petitioning the agency to revise salt's status and establish food labeling requirements.

The panel, held on the campus of George Washington University, will bring together experts from all sides of the table: Mark Schoeberl, chair of the National Forum, Dr. Darwin Labarthe, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, and Robert Earl, vice president of science policy of the Grocery Manufacturer's Association.

"No one organization or individual can do this alone," Schoeberl said. "We have the opportunity...to expand and grow successful collaborations that can confront and overcome the tremendous challenges we continue to fac
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SOURCE National Forum
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