The Latest Salt Showdown

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The Institute of Medicine's long awaited study, "Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States," will be released next week at a public briefing in Washington, DC.

According to study director Chris Taylor, the briefing will be held Wednesday, April 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C. Those who cannot attend can listen to a live audio webcast available here. Anyone who wants to attend should register at the Institute of Medicine's site. For information, contact the news office at the National Academies, (202)-334-2138 or onpi@nas.edu.

In other news, and in what can hardly be a coincidence, General Mills has announced that it will be reducing the sodium in several lines of its products by 20 percent between now and 2015.

The great majority—perhaps 80 percent—of the salt in U.S. diets comes from processed and pre-prepared foods. If salt is to be lowered, the processed food and restaurant industries must do it. Just about everyone agrees that salt reduction has to occur gradually and across the board. It's great that General Mills is signing on to this effort.

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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