Policy Progress in Reducing Sodium in the American Diet, 2010-2019

Aviva A. Musicus, Vivica I. Kraak, Sara N. Bleich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Most Americans consume dietary sodium exceeding age-specific government-recommended targets of 1,500-2,300 mg/day per person. The majority (71%) of US dietary sodium comes from restaurant and packaged foods. Excess sodium intake contributes to hypertension and cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. This review summarizes evidence for policy progress to reduce sodium in the US food supply and the American diet. We provide a historical overview of US sodium-reduction policy (1969-2010), then examine progress toward implementing the 2010 National Academy of Medicine (NAM) sodium report's recommendations (2010-2019). Results suggest that the US Food and Drug Administration made no progress in setting mandatory sodium-reduction standards, industry made some progress in meeting voluntary targets, and other stakeholders made some progress on sodium-reduction actions. Insights from countries that have significantly reduced population sodium intake offer strategies to accelerate US progress toward implementing the NAM sodium-reduction recommendations in the future. 2020 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-435
Number of pages29
JournalAnnual review of nutrition
StatePublished - Aug 21 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Sodium
  • United States
  • food industry
  • government
  • policy
  • recommendations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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