Strategies to reduce dietary sodium intake

Laura K. Cobb, Lawrence J. Appel, Cheryl A.M. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Excess sodium intake has an important, if not predominant, role in the pathogenesis of elevated blood pressure, one of the most important modifiable determinants of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In the United States, almost 80 % of sodium in the diet comes from packaged and restaurant foods. Given the current food environment, educational efforts such as clinician counseling are useful, but a comprehensive public health approach is necessary to achieve meaningful reductions in sodium intake. A successful approach includes several key strategies, which together will both promote positive decisions by individuals and change the context in which they make those decisions. The strategies include 1) public education, 2) individual dietary counseling, 3) food labeling, 4) coordinated and voluntary industry sodium reduction, 5) government and private sector food procurement policies, and 6) FDA regulations, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine, to modify sodium's generally regarded as safe (GRAS) status. Population-wide reduction in sodium intake has the potential to substantially reduce the public burden of preventable CVD and reduce health care costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-434
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension
  • Policy
  • Salt
  • Sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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