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J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2015 Aug;17(8):611-3. doi: 10.1111/jch.12553. Epub 2015 Apr 22.

Inaugural Maximum Values for Sodium in Processed Food Products in the Americas.

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Department of Medicine, Physiology and Pharmacology and Community Health Sciences, Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Ministry of Health, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
Unit of Noncommunicable Diseases and Disability, Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, Pan American Health Organization-World Health Organization, Washington, DC.
Ministry of Health, Brasilia, Brasil.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Reducing dietary salt/sodium is one of the most cost-effective interventions to improve population health. There are five initiatives in the Americas that independently developed targets for reformulating foods to reduce salt/sodium content. Applying selection criteria, recommended by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Advisory Group on Dietary Salt/Sodium Reduction, a consortium of governments, civil society, and food companies (the Salt Smart Consortium) agreed to an inaugural set of regional maximum targets (upper limits) for salt/sodium levels for 11 food categories, to be achieved by December 2016. Ultimately, to substantively reduce dietary salt across whole populations, targets will be needed for the majority of processed and pre-prepared foods. Cardiovascular and hypertension organizations are encouraged to utilize the regional targets in advocacy and in monitoring and evaluation of progress by the food industry.

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