SFA Releases Statement on Sodium and Cardiovascular Disease Studies

New Study Done by New England Journal of Medicine Sheds Light on Sodium Issue

August 14, 2014

Washington, DC (August 14, 2014) - "Research released on sodium and cardiovascular disease in today's New England Journal of Medicine adds to the national discussion of sodium's role in the American diet," says Snack Food Association (SFA) CEO Tom Dempsey.

SFA members support efforts to improve the health of all Americans. In fact, over the past several years SFA members have worked diligently to gradually reformulate products in order to reduce sodium across portfolios. Based on customer demand, our member companies are working to offer a variety of products to meet consumer demands including those that are lower sodium, reduced sodium, hint of salt, and no salt options.

In fact, Mintel data from 2009-2013 shows there has been a 14% and 23% reduction in sodium in potato snacks and snack mixes, respectfully, since 2009. Additionally, in a recent SFA member survey, 89% of companies polled indicated they have at least one reduced salt option, while 78% of companies surveyed indicated they have a no salt option available to consumers. Moreover, data from a 2009-2010 What We Eat in America survey presented during Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee deliberations showed in sweets and snacks together contributed 8% of sodium to the diet- less than many other categories including grains, vegetables, mixed dishes, and protein.

In recent comments submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the proposed Nutrition Facts Panel, SFA members recommended that the daily value for sodium be based on the best available science. SFA reminded the FDA that while the options proposed reflect a 2005 Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee's application of the available science to develop Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), nearly a decade's worth of research conducted since the IOM report has updated our understanding of the relationship between sodium and health.

SFA CEO Thomas Dempsey said, "As the sodium dialogue continues, we welcome all studies that truly add to the facts around sodium and cardiovascular disease."

The complete study done by the New England Journal of Medicine can be found here.