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NYC Health Dept. cracks down on salt levels in food

Posted On Wed, January 13, 2010

New Yorkers have been called grouchy and impersonal, but one way they won't be described as anymore is "salty."

The city's Health Department announced on Monday it would be implementing the National Salt Reduction Initiative, which would attempt to convince restaurants to voluntarily reduce the amount of salt used in their foods.

Citing statistics that showed Americans ingested twice the recommended amount of salt than they should on a daily basis, the initiative would seek to reduce salt levels in 61 categories of prepackaged food and 25 classes of restaurant food.

"At current levels, the salt in our diets poses health risks for people with normal blood pressure, and it's even riskier for the 1.5 million New Yorkers with high blood pressure," said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City's health commissioner "If we can reduce the sodium levels in packaged and restaurant foods, we will give consumers more choice about the amount of salt they eat, and reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke in the process."

After hearing of the NYC initiative, the San Francisco Gate reported on Wednesday that the city's Mayor Gavin Newsom was "looking at it" and potentially considering a similar city-wide ban.

Regardless of where one lives, reducing salt intake to lower the medical risks associated with its excessive use could prove to be beneficial in numerous ways. In addition to improving one's health and general quality of life, one may be able to obtain more idea rates when looking for both health and life insurance coverage.

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