Sodium Reduction

National Forum

March 19, 2012


Reduce daily sodium intake in the general population to 1500mg by 2020.


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, and high blood pressure is one of the major risk factors1. An estimated nine in ten Americans will develop high blood pressure during their lifetimes2. Reducing sodium intake is a priority because of the harmful effects of sodium on all Americans—elevated blood pressure and increased risk of stroke, heart attacks, and kidney disease. Sodium consumption is currently more than two times higher than the recommendation of less than 1500 mg daily, with 75% of that consumption coming from processed and restaurant/foodservice foods. Average daily consumption for men in the United States is over 4,200 mg/day and approximately 3,000 mg/day for women—just about 3,400 mg/day for all Americans.3

Consumer self-identification for sodium reduction is still inadequate. Consumers continue to purchase foods that are relatively high in sodium and increase their risk of hypertension and related health risks, yet many still believe that they are not at risk. While numerous stakeholders have initiated voluntary efforts to reduce sodium consumption in the United States during the past 40 years, they have not been overly successful. Without major change, hypertension and cardiovascular disease rates will continue to rise, and consumers will pay the price for inaction.


Develop a long term, collaborative strategy to reduce sodium intake in the general population in the U.S.



Focus of Effort and Scope of Work

Click here for our Sodium Reduction Action Plan.

The National Forum is a signatory of the “Consensus Statement on Sodium,” released on June 24, 2014.  The Consensus Statement concludes “that the evidence is clear.  Population-wide reduction of sodium intake is an integral approach to reducing cardiovascular disease events and mortality in the United States.”  Click here to see the complete statement and list of signers.

National Forum Sodium Reduction Advisory Group

  • Jill Birnbaum, American Heart Association
  • Margaret Casey, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
  • Janet deJesus, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • Kathyrn McMurry, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • Truemenda Green, National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • Camillia Easley, National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • Lynne Braun, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association
  • Janelle Peralez Gunn, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Gilda Caputo Hansen, American Society of Hypertension
  • Julia Schneider, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
  • Deborah Spicer, New York State Health Department
  • Martin Kohn, MD, MS, SM; Jointly Health
  • Sue Koob, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association
  • Libby Puckett
  • John B. Kostis, MD, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


Reports and Publications

Sodium Websites


1. He FJ, MacGregor GA. "A comprehensive review on salt and health and current experience of worldwide salt reduction programmes." J Hum Hypertens. 2008.

2. Vasan RS. Beiser A, et al. "Residual Lifetime Risk for Developing Hypertension in Middle-Aged Women and Men: The Framingham Heart Study." JAMA. 2002;287:1003-1010.

3. NHANES 2003-2006 – CDC. 2009. Application of lower sodium intake recommendations to adults – United States, 1999-2006. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 58(11):281-283.