Chicago, Illinois - With overwhelming scientific evidence showing the direct link between excessive sodium intake and heart disease, the American Medical Association (AMA) today applauded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for taking a major step toward reducing the amount of sodium added to the nation's food supply.

Today's announcement aligns with the AMA's long-standing policies aimed at reducing sodium consumption, which calls on the food industry to decrease the amount of sodium in processed foods and encouraged the FDA to improve labeling to better help consumers fully understand the amount of sodium contained in these foods.

"We applaud the FDA for proposing new sodium reduction targets and industry guidelines that will help Americans limit the amount of sodium they consume and, in turn, make our country healthier," said AMA President Steven J. Stack. "We believe that reducing overall sodium intake will help rein in high blood pressure and help prevent the devastating consequences of heart disease—currently affecting millions of Americans. But today's action is only a first step. With most dietary sodium added by food processors and restaurants, even highly-motivated individuals find it difficult to reduce their sodium intake. These voluntary guidelines are a blueprint for further action, but the onus is on the food industry to now take the necessary steps to reduce sodium in its products, and help us improve health outcomes for all Americans."

The FDA's action also supports our strategic work to significantly reduce the number of American adults living with uncontrolled high blood pressure, which left untreated could damage your heart, arteries and other vital organs. Recently, in partnership with the American Heart Association, the AMA launched a new national initiative called Target: BP™, to provide physician practices, care teams and health systems with the resources and support they need to improve blood pressure control rates within the communities they serve.  

It is collective actions such as these that will move us closer to achieving a healthier nation.